THE major factor influencing investments into
However, the slow drive towards renewable energy will yield greater environmental and economic benefits during a time of changing climates, where low-carbon development is now the preferred option for growing sustainable economies.
The licensing of three companies, one local and two foreign, by the
Gwanda was not an accidental choice. The Matabeleleland south capital lies in the hottest region of
Although off-grid solar lighting litters many of
The country requires significant technical and financial investments as well as capacity building to reduce its fossil fuel dependence, power economic growth and promote social progress.
Now, the ongoing economic and power crisis, and the challenges of climate change mean it is imperative that
Safe, secure and, in the long run, affordable energy will only be available by switching to renewable energy and improving energy efficiency while creating opportunities for the local economy. This will support sustainable development and innovation.
Solar energy is one of the renewable technologies identified by the
The UNFCCC is a world body comprising of nearly 200 members and primarily responsible for designing policies and strategies that bind countries to limit emissions growth in a verifiable, effective manner.
The concept of green growth envisages a form of economic development that prioritises people, the planet and profit as equal factors.
Solar-use has the ability to achieve the three-pronged goals. The energy is clean, meaning it produces little or no carbon dioxide at all, the major gas responsible for causing climate change and global warming. Solar generates and regenerates from the sun, making it an infinite resource.
Solar solutions could be expanded to cover aviation, traffic and road signs, advertising billboard, telecommunications including solar hot water systems for use in public utilities such as hospitals, schools and hotels etc.
For farming, direct current solar powered pumps for boreholes, dams, irrigation and tobacco curing could be utilised effectively.
Compared to other energy forms, the initial set up costs for solar power plant of any type are considerably higher, but the long-term benefits greater.
In the last 25 years, however, the start-up costs for large on-grid renewable technologies have declined by between 20 and 30 percent as more public and private finance pour in, according to the
It costs roughly
The coal-fired powered station of similar size could cost half that much but the periodic repairs needed to keep the plant operational increases costs. Apart from that, the environmental damage from coal is huge as a 100MW plant produces millions of tonnes of CO2 in a year.
"Solar is expensive to install but has no fuel cost. It also has no moving parts hence it tends to be reliable as long as the sun is shining," said Engineer
The IEA says global carbon dioxide emissions increased by 49 percent since 1990, reaching 31,3 Gigatonnes in 2011, led by the US and
Coal drove the significant emissions increase in developing countries, while developed countries slightly decreased their emissions compared to 2010. This growth threatens the global temperature rise limit of 1,5 degrees Celsius by 2080, considered by scientists as the safe cap to prevent further warming of the earth's surface. Increased renewable energy use could significantly reduce that danger.
To support private capital in solar projects, Government policies should be able to curb losses for the investor. The final pricing should be right to achieve mutually beneficial goals that do not disadvantage the individual consumer, Government nor the investor. In this regard, the promulgation of clear cut policy framework that supports the development of clean energies including solar must be taken seriously and implemented now.
"The investor gets a price that matches the cost of capital and what they agreed to be their rate of return. This implies that it is not wise to produce electricity just for consumption without production."
Statistics released in 2000 by Zesa, which are the latest, show that the national energy balance stood at 53 percent for wood fuel, 20 percent coal, liquid fuel 14 percent and 13 percent for electricity.
The numbers underline the reason
This shows that more than three-quarters of the rural population and more than half of
The National Energy Policy of 2012 articulates a cocktail of measures it targets for implementation in the renewable energy sector by the end of this decade.
To promote solar energy use, the NEP aims to establish a fund for the short to medium term to address the ongoing electricity crisis.
Pursuant to this, regulations were to be implemented in 2013, which did not happen, to force the installation of solar geysers into all new homes and buildings failing which penalties in the form of higher electricity tariffs are effected.
Solar use will also be promoted through the establishment of "cost-reflective feed-in tariffs with appropriate subsidy mechanisms and other incentives to promote grid and off-grid power generation using solar and other renewable energy resources".
God is faithful.
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