GOVERNMENT will next month embark on a pilot solar geyser project as the nation phases out electric ones. Addressing delegates at a national water heating stakeholders consultative workshop in Harare last week, Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Mr Partson Mbiriri said electric geysers consumed 40 percent of domestic power.
He said installation of solar geysers would save at least 300 megawatts by 2018. “The country is importing a total of 450MW during peak periods (350MW from Eskom and 100MW from Hydro Cabora Basa). Despite this intervention, there is still a shortage of power and a swelling import bill which is not desirable to the nation,” he said.
“At least 114 000 water geysers are needed to replace the existing electric geysers and I think the focus in this phase is simply on the domestic market and of course to institutions, commerce as well as industry. We are starting with a pilot programme and a residential area has been identified to carry out the first phase of the project,” he said.
The programme involves replacing existing electric geysers with solar geysers especially on all new buildings. The programme seeks to capacitate the local industry and the target is to use 100 percent local raw materials for manufacturing solar geysers. Six local manufacturers have already been identified for the project.