BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
RENEWABLE energy solutions with an emphasis on solar, wind and hydropower take centre-stage next week when industry, policymakers, experts and government representatives meet in the resort town of Nyanga for a four-day International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo 2021.
The conference, running between April 14 and 17 under the theme Positioning Zimbabwe as Africa’s Renewable Energy Hub by 20230, was organised by Alpha Media Holdings’ The Standard and Heart & Soul online radio and television station.
It will among other topics discuss industrial and domestic renewable energy systems, financing of renewable energy projects, climate and cyber threats and the preparedness of African governments on harnessing renewable energy smart grids.
The conference comes as Zimbabwe is battling a huge power deficit that has the country trapped in power import debts. Industry has suffered the cost of incessant power cuts, which forced many players to turn to diesel power, raising overheads. Fuel shortages saw some companies, including Blanket Mine, Mimosa Mining Company, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and Zimplats, seriously consider the solar option.
Delegates at the conference will visit the Nyangani Renewable Energy’s site.
Nyangani Renewable Energy in 2014 commissioned a 15MW Pungwe B hydropower station. This brought the company’s generation capacity to 21,5MW when Pungwe B was operating at 20% of installed capacity. The company runs Duru, Nyamhingura and the first phase of Pungwe.
Energy and Power Development minister Zhemu Soda and his permanent secretary Gloria Magombo are among the top speakers, who include regional experts.
Tese include Mobility for Africa (South Africa) director Shantha Bloemen and Advocate for Renewable Energy (South A)’s Patson Malisa. The African Development Bank will be represented by Emmanuel Nzabanita.