Submitted by Samson Mhlanga
Published 2 weeks, 5 days ago
Just prior to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe managed to exhibit at the launch of the Renewable Energy and Biofuels Policies Launch at the Harare International Conference Centre under the theme “Unlocking Renewable Energy Potential in Zimbabwe”.
The Government of Zimbabwe launched the two policies simultaneously in a bid to address energy access and access to cleaner energy. The Biofuels Policy framework is meant to address the production and use of biofuels in the transport sector while the Renewable Energy Policy is meant to regulate the use of other renewable energy sources like solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass in a bid to decarbonise the energy sector.
As a stakeholder in the Zimbabwe Energy Sector, The SOLTRAIN team in Zimbabwe welcomed the launch of the Renewable Energy Policy as it acknowledges the important role played by solar heat in the energy mix. The Renewable Energy Policy supports the Solar Thermal Roadmap and Implementation Plan with a number of provisions.
Firstly, it emphasises the baseline installation of the 250 000 solar water heating systems used as the foundation for the roadmap. Secondly, it addresses the issue of incentives for promoting investment in renewable energy will be key in the transformation of the roadmap into bankable project proposals to attract funding for the roll-out of programs.
This is discussed further in the third provision of the policy that addresses procurement mechanisms for renewable energy. The other important aspect that the Renewable Energy Policy seeks to address includes the minimisation of risks in Renewable Energy projects by ensuring minimum approval times and licensing to enable quick turnaround times for projects.
The Renewable Energy Policy is in keeping with the SOLTRAIN objectives in terms of encouraging participation and empowerment of locals in the renewable energy market as it advocates for the promotion of local manufacturing of renewable energy technologies as well as skills development and technology transfer.
After the launch of the policies, delegates took time to visit the SOLTRAIN Mobile Training Unit that was being exhibited and got the chance to experience solar thermal renewable energy first hand.