By Anyway Yotamu
Rooftop solar energy has emerged as one of the sources of power that can ease the consumption of energy on the national grid.
This was revealed at the commissioning of the Switzerland Embassy Solar Project in Harare. In a country endowed with abundant solar resources, the Swiss Embassy has managed to install a 20 kilowatt an hour rooftop solar system and a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium power project at its premise that also feeds excess power into the national grid.
The government has welcomed the project as a possible import substitution model that can reduce the load on the national power supplier.
“Government is very serious about ensuring that the country is energy secure and one of the key ways of doing this is ensuring we have rooftop solar and we are determined to drive this in a very big way. What the Swiss have done here is a very good example of what other embassies can do. As a government, we have a huge interest in this type of project which is an import substitution model.
“Solar represents a saving in the power that we are importing from other countries. It is viable for business. It is not viable to run a business on fuel. We are putting a net metering framework where the embassy can sell excess power to the grid Zesa and government is working on a payment plan,” Minister Chasi said.
Switzerland Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi, Niculin Jager said the embassy is willing to feed its excess power to the national grid.
“We have commissioned new installation and now we are fully dependent on solar power. We want to contribute to sustainable energy management in the world. During the day, we would want to feed into the grid so that our neighbours can benefit so we will participate in the net metering program that the ministry is offering and make available our excess power to other consumers. We will also buy an electric car that will use all the excess power,” he said.
Solar is considered a clean and sustainable energy source which Zimbabwe is tapping into and is in line with the country’s energy policy.