Government recently proposed a ban on electric geysers in order to mitigate the crippling power shortages.
The country has been experiencing reduced power production at its major electricity production units in Kariba and Hwange. The result is residents being subjected to power cuts lasting up to 20 hours a day. The electricity shortage has been attributed by some to the country’s over-reliance on hydro and thermal power generation without fully utilising other sources of energy such as solar and biogas.
Some have welcomed the move to ban electric geysers in favour of solar geysers by the Ministry of Energy. If implemented, the ban will reduce electricity consumption countrywide by at least 300MW. Though this decision might seem harsh to many due to current economic hardships, it is worthwhile to consider the enormous benefits that come with the use of solar energy.
Dennis Govha is a technician at Satewave Technology, a Harare-based company that trades in solar products. Govha told Harare News that the banning of electric in favour of solar geysers has countless advantages to the country and to the consumer.
“Renewable energy is environmentally and economically friendly as there are no running costs or need for repairs after installation. Everyone should adopt solar power and I urge all stakeholders to band together so that the price of solar products becomes affordable,” said Govha.
The adoption of renewable energy has been identified by many as the obvious solution to the country’s power shortages. John Tapera (39) from Avondale bemoaned government’s slow adoption of renewable energy and said that the ban on electric geysers was long overdue as it was a “luxury” that was putting pressure on our scarce electricity supply.
“I want to urge government to come up with a renewable energy policy by subsidising products for solar and biogas production. We should be able to take advantage of the abundant sunshine in the country to produce solar energy for our industries and populace,” said Tapera.
Hatfield resident Norman Magaya (24) added that government and corporates should play their part in implementing renewable energy projects in order to address the current electricity deficit.
“Solar is very expensive in Harare and I think government should come up with a subsidy for solar products so that they become cheaper. Residents who utilise renewable energy should also be offered a discount by the energy ministry to encourage the use of solar and other renewable energy sources,” said Magaya.
However, other residents such as Merjury Nhete (37) from Mbare said that the banning of electric geysers is not a lasting solution to electricity shortages and urged the government to come up with long-term solutions to the electricity deficit.
“The ban on electric geysers and adoption of solar geysers makes it seem as if central government is now passing on the burden of its failure to generate enough electricity to residents who are already suffering. Government should revisit their power generation policy to come up with a lasting solution,” said Nhete.
Image: An American print advert from the 1920s shows that solar geysers are not a new technology