solarr.jpgSaddled with a back-log of projects which were set back by high inflation and various economic challenges which faced the country in recent years, the country’s Rural Electrification Agency says it is pinning hopes of electrifying the country’s rural areas in the tapping of solar energy as it is convenient and readily available.


The authority currently has a target of electrifying over 5800 public institutions, including government offices, schools and clinics.


REA board chairman Mr. Jerry Gotora said there has been a resumption of several projects that had stalled due to economic challenges although cash constraints are still hampering the pace of work, noting that solar energy has proved to be a more affordable alternative to other forms of energy.


“A ten megawatt station will be able to electrify at least a whole district through photovoltaic energy. It is clean, cheap and you can bank it compared to hydro and thermal energy,” said Gotora.


With little support from the national fiscus, REA has since embarked on commercial projects at mines and small towns to generate revenues amounting to at least US$500 000 per month to beef up funds from the rural electrification levy.


Government recently removed duty for solar powered implements such as geysers, lanterns and panels to promote the use of solar energy as the country is facing power supply challenges which have resulted in constant load-shedding.