New housing plans to have solar provision

27 Mar, 2016 - 00:03 0 Views
New housing plans to have solar provision Taking an aggressive approach to the adoption of rooftop solar could yield numerous advantages for Government.

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporter
GOVERNMENT is finalising a legal instrument prohibiting approval of new building plans that do not have provision for solar water heaters as Zimbabwe takes tangible steps to promote renewable energy use.
Last year, Government launched the national domestic solar water heating programme as it starts phasing out electric geysers.
Solar-powered geysers are envisaged to save 300MW of electricity, which is more than what Kariba Hydro Power Station is currently producing owing to reduced water levels in the dam.
Government is outlawing electric geysers due to their high energy consumption.
It is estimated that Zimbabwe has about 250 000 electric geysers which consume at least 40 percent of domestic electricity.
Secretary for Energy and Power Development Mr Partson Mbiriri told The Sunday Mail that Government was crafting a Statutory Instrument to amend by-laws in all urban and rural authorities.
“We are working with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to make sure that our by-laws will include that provision (to ban approval of building plans that encompass electricity water heaters). Local authorities will not approve new housing plans without the provision of a solar geyser.”
Mr Mbiriri said after gazetting of the SI, it would be illegal for local authorities to approve housing plans that do not include solar geysers.
“We are going to have our pilot project next month and this will also give us time to assess the capacity of the solar geyser manufacturers. The specifications on how we are going to move forward will be in the regulations after the Statutory Instrument.”
As part of the solar water heating project, Government is in the process of partnering six local companies to manufacture solar geysers.
The Secretary for Energy said at least 90 families had agreed to be part of the pilot project which starts next month.
He said at least 114 000 geysers needed replacement in the second quarter of 2016 to ensure successful implementation of the project.
Mr Mbiriri said the project would create employment as the solar geysers would be manufactured locally.
Energy expert Engineer Ben Munyaradzi said introduction of solar geysers was a step in the right direction as part of an energy mix that would ensure steady supply of electricity.
“I think this is very important considering that we have a lot of sunlight throughout the year. Apart from saving power, it is cheap,” he said.
South Africa is installing solar powered systems as part of that country’s energy mix and is developing a 300MW grid in this regard.
It is estimated that Zimbabwe has about 250 000 electric geysers which consume at least 40 percent of domestic electricity.

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