The project will be implemented as part of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation’s (ZimASSET) 300MW electricity saving options by 2018 and as one of Zimbabwe’s INDCs and Third National Communication to UNFCCC climate change mitigation options. ZimASSET is Zimbabwe’s economic blue print. A national energy efficiency study funded by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority(ZERA) and completed in July 2015 found that the country has a potential to save 2,130GWh of electricity and a total of 13,959GWh energy (electricity, coal, diesel, petrol, wood, LPG and paraffin) annually. A number of energy conservation activities and fuel switching projects were identified. These will reduce energy consumption resulting in reduced GHG emissions.
Besides solar water heating the other mitigation projects which Zimbabwe is implementing or planned to implement are:
1. Fixture relamping of 250W mercury vapour street lights with 90W LED flood lights in the City of Harare. All of the installed LED lamps are being powered by solar modules. This reduces GHG emission and also contributes to improved energy security.
2. Voluntary energy audits and implementation of energy management opportunities by companies affiliated to Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in collaboration with the Swedish Government.
3. Installation of prepaid meters has resulted in significant reduction in household electricity usage as households are able to manage electricity on their own. The government plan to have 800,000 prepaid meters in households and commercial by 2018.
4. Increased usage of alternative forms of energy such as solar PV, hydro and biogas digesters. The national biogas project which is being implemented for institutions, household and farms has a target of 1,250 new biogas plants to be installed by 2018. The nation has plans to have 100MW total capacity for solar PV being initiated and installed by 2018. Currently solar mini-grids are being installed by a number of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Rural Electrification Fund. A number of mini and micro hydro schemes have been constructed and more have been planned for construction. There are also plans to incorporate generation of electricity on all irrigation dams. A cost of supply study was conducted by ZERA in 2013 to enable ZERA to come up with renewable energy feed-in tariffs. The nation has witnessed a number of private players registering to set up renewable energy power plants to feed electricity into the grid due to attractive feed-in tariffs. 5. Blending petrol with ethanol. Currently the country is using E10 and E15 but plans are there to reach E20 by 2018.