Zim working to expand the net metering programme; Minister Chasi

By ZBC Reporter
THE government says it is working on expanding the grid-connected solar roofs programme with the relevant authorities currently in discussion with domestic financial institutions for special financing packages for corporates as well as domestic electricity consumers.
The country which currently has an installed power generation capacity of 2000MW and power deficit of around 600MW is exploring different options to expand its capacity with solar energy being viewed as one of the viable options in guaranteeing power supply.
With a view to create a huge virtual power station, the country has intensified its drive to promote the grid-connected solar roofs.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Advocate Fortune Chasi says further assessments are done on the potential of the grid-connected rooftops programme to engage domestic and foreign investors in the roll-out of the project.
“The general government approach is to de-grid as many people as possible particularly large consumers. We are currently studying and scanning the number of rooftops and would like to market it to both local and foreign investors,” he said.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Eddington Mazambani says the authority will for the greater part of 2020 seek to promote the grid-connected solar rooftops uptake.
“We are going all out this year to promote the uptake of grid-connected solar rooftops. We are also going to be targeting financial institutions to package financial facilities for individual and corporates so they can install the gird connected solar rooftops,” he said.
Zimbabwe, which has prioritized renewable energy last year, adopted net metering which is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they feedback to the grid.
Few companies from the domestic business landscape which include Schweppes Africa Holdings and Econet Wireless have installed off-grid solar rooftop to reduce dependence on the national power grid.