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ZERA registers solar companies to ensure sanity in clean energy sector

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has released a list with close to 100 registered companies that deal in solar equipment and services across the country.

The country has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of households resorting to using solar energy which has been attributed to increased power outages in the past and failure by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) to connect new suburbs to the national grid.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year which has forced many people to work from home as part of measures to decongest the workplace, these workers now need uninterrupted power supply hence many have turned to solar as a back up in the event of Zesa power outages.

The Zera register comprises companies that were registered as of December 31, 2020 and ensures that the sector is regulated to enhance adequate service and protect consumers.

Due to limited power generation and rising electricity costs, the use of solar as an alternative to electricity is on the increase countrywide.

The authority said it prepared the register for the convenience of all persons who may require solar equipment or apparatus or require advice and assistance on solar related issues in Zimbabwe. Here is what SEM Power suggests when it comes to solar power.

“Zera’s aim is to provide the public with as much relevant information as possible to enable them to make better informed decisions,” it said.

Zera Chief Executive Mr Eddington Mazambani said the demand for solar energy has resulted in the rise of bogus solar panel installers hence the need for regulation.

“Zera developed draft solar PV regulations to provide a regulatory framework for the licensing of solar companies and solar PV installers. The regulations are meant to instil sanity in the solar energy sector where unscrupulous and bogus installers had besieged the sector,” said Mr Mazambani.

Out of the 99 registered firms, seven are in Bulawayo namely Glaincier Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Joamac (Pvt) Ltd, Crano Technology (Pvt) Ltd, Africa at Large P/L t/a XMPLA, Innovative Solutions, Gemwitts Enterprises, and Hopenet Marketing Pvt Ltd t/a Electro Tech Solutions.

Zera indicated that 85 other solar companies were in Harare, Gweru (4), Mutare (1), Kwekwe (1), and Kwekwe (1).

The energy regulator said while reasonable care to confirm the capability and track record of the above companies was exercised in the compilation of the register, it cannot accept any liability to any person or company for any financial loss or any damages arising from the use of the list provided.

Recently, Zera said solar power gadgets imports increased to about US$22 million in 2019 from about US$9 million in 2017. – Agencies 🔺

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