‘Zim lagging behind in renewable energy financing’

By Farai Matiashe

A LOCAL banker has urged stakeholders in the renewable energy sector to up their game in order to meet international standards.

Speaking at an international conference on current trends in renewable energy technologies in Harare on Wednesday, ZB Capital senior manager Hugh Gutura said Zimbabwe was lagging behind in terms of renewable energy financing as compared to developed countries.

“There is a gap between local and international renewable energy finance. It means we need to catch up as a country to attain some of the funding models you will find in the developed world,” he said.

Gutura said ZB Capital was implementing renewable energy projects that had social impact on citizens in the country.

“We have started working on solar campus lighting with State universities; we have done such projects with the Midlands State University, Chinhoyi University of Technology and National University of Science and Technology,” he said.

“We think that this is a very important project because it creates a safe environment for the students as well as visitors to university premises. So, there is a social impact there to talk of and we are pleased to continue rolling out projects in that space. There are about 90 units that we have installed.”

Gutura added that they were running the projects using own funds as the sponsor.

“We have also started solar street lighting with the local authorities. We have piloted with Gwanda as well as Plumtree. The beauty of these models is we are not asking the clients for funds like in this category, we are not asking local authorities to contribute towards the project. Even in the university cluster, no university has been contributing capital towards the projects,” he said.

Source : NewsDay

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