MASVINGO – The current sharp growth in the mining industry will see demand for power doubling in the next two years from 1 600 megawatts to 3 200 mega Watts per day, ZERA Renewable Energy Engineer Tobias Mudzingwa has said.
He said this during a stakeholder awareness workshop on net metering and energy efficiency held at Flamboyant, Regency Group Hotel this week.
He encouraged stakeholders to be innovative and initiate projects to generate power and deal with the growing shortages.
“To address the escalating power demand, we encourage the public to put up roof top solar system to generate power for their own consumption and feed excess power into the national grid which is a net metering concept,” said Mudzingwa.
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.
He added that Zimbabwe is experiencing power shortages mainly due to a rise in electricity demand in the face of limited local generation capacity and imports.
“The current power capacity demand per day is on average 1600 mega watts and when it doubles it gets to 3200 mega Watts.
Mining companies that will demand huge quantities of power include Bynson Steel near Mvuma. This company alone will demand 500 mega Watts per day.
Mining industry is the top consumer followed by manufacturing industry, agriculture, commercial and domestic.
There are also a number of decommissioned companies that are coming back on stream and will significantly contribute to the rising power demand. Rain in Bindura is one of the mines that is reopening.
“We expect independent power producers to come online to get their projects implemented . We also expect power generation capacity of 600 Mega Watts from Hwange unit 7 and 8 with each of the two units expected to generate 300 mega Watts each once commissioned,” said Mudzingwa.