Harare (New Ziana)-The power shortages that the country and the region is facing should serve as a reality check for businesses and households to start investing in solar energy as a long-term solution.
In an interview, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu urged businesses, particularly the small ones, and households that are using generators as an interim measure, to start migrating towards solar energy as a long-term solution.
He said citizens and businesses should accept the reality since the power shortages were not being experienced in Zimbabwe alone, but the whole region.
“We need to adapt very quickly and move to solar to power our businesses, especially the small traders in their numerous numbers and households,” he said.
Mutashu urged the government to set up a facility to assist businesses to acquire solar equipment to enable them to move away from relying on the national grid.
He said the fund could assist mainly small businesses who may not have the capital to immediately acquire solar equipment.
“We request government to come up with a facility that can be accessible by small to medium enterprises so that they can borrow and acquire the alternatives as soon as possible,” he said.
In addition to reducing demand for power on the national grid, migrating to solar would also save the country much needed foreign currency in importing electricity, Mutashu explained.
“So, it is a reality check, every business must be prepared for such an eventuality and ensure that they limit their losses by investing in alternatives like solar,” he said.
“So we are encouraging as the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers that businesses, though it may be expensive in the short term, it is worth the while.”
Mutashu said even if the power situation improved, the country should, of necessity, embrace the new technologies to reduce the demand for power on the grid.
“Naturally we have to embrace the alternatives, embrace solar,” he said.
He said the CZR had noted that many businesses were acquiring generators and that demand for solar products was rising.
Mutashu urged solar shop owners to stock up with the solar systems so as to encourage customers, including at household level, to embrace solar.
“Even at household level our encouragement is that those that can afford should actually move towards solar,” he said.
It has been argued that Zimbabwe has a strong case for adopting solar power since it experiences long hours of sunshine in the year.