Business Writer

Clean energy expert and renowned Zimbabwean technopreneuer, Engineer Edzai Kachirekwa has urged stakeholders in the energy sector to tap into the upcoming energy indaba in South Africa in order to leverage on innovative solutions that has the potential to cure the country’s energy poverty.

Zimbabwe is enduring acute power shortages with load shedding going on for hours on end owing to inefficient power generation largely attributed to dilapidated and obsolete infrastructure.Hwange Power Station Units 1-6 which were commissioned between 1983-1987 are no longer reliable as they experience frequent breakdowns and operate well below their installed capacity.

Currently, Hwange is generating approximately 614MW while Kariba Hydro Power Station is producing at least 300MW and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generating 3MW, giving a total output of 917MW which is insufficient for national requirements.

Speaking ahead of Africa’s largest energy showcase – the Solar & Storage Live Africa 2024 – which focuses on innovation and investment in energy, power generation and management systems, particularly Infrastructure development solutions for the renewable energy sector, Engineer Kachirekwa posited that unless Zimbabwe sets up large scale renewable energy infrastructure, attaining energy self sufficiency will remain a pipeline dream.

The Solar & Storage Live Africa conference runs from 18-20 March 2024 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg in South Africa.

“Even though the government and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have made great strides in improving power generation through renovating existing energy infrastructure, it is imperative that we continue to increase the renewables threshold in the energy mix as stipulated in the National Development Strategy. That’s the trend world over and we have to move with the times.

“We are expecting a variety of energy solutions from this conference, tailored for each constituency and it’s a great honour for me to be representing Zimbabwe. I’m so much excited as this will present opportunities for us in the private sector to attract more investors into the country,” said Kachirekwa who is also the president of Afro Eurasia Energy Centre and Power Giants Transmission Director.

He added that, “As Afro Eurasia we have also been courting Germany and American investors to explore opportunities in the renewable energy sector and so far there is quite an encouraging response and we are hopeful that, now that sanctions against Zimbabwe which were a major stumbling block, were removed, it will pave way for new investment opportunities for us as we continue to pursue our goal of adding 4000 megawatts into the national grid.”

The direct interactions and interface at this global conference provide a strategic platform for Zimbabwe to engage world technocrats and power experts as the event is designed for large-scale energy users, energy utilities, IPPs, governments, regulators and distributors. It will delve into the intricacies of solar energy solutions, efficiency ideas, storage, clean energy generation and power management technologies and best practice in the industry.