THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has urged energy consumers to use generators which run on gas to improve the country’s energy efficiency.
This comes after stakeholders last year confronted Zera over 120 issues that needed urgent attention.
Speaking at a stakeholder consultation and feedback meeting in Harare yesterday, Zera senior engineer Samuel Zaranyika said LP gas could now be used to operate generators and cars to reduce air pollution.
“On LP gas, I’m sure the usage of LP gas has risen and the majority of users of LP gas use it for heating and cooking. As the regulator, we are now saying you can also use that LP gas to run small generators. I think there are a number of companies that are now selling those generators which are more efficient and less polluting,” he said.
“You can also now use LP gas to drive vehicles instead of using petrol and diesel. There is an organisation that is converting petrol engines into LP gas engines, and you can now enjoy a smooth drive with less pollution.”
One of the major challenges the energy sector is facing is financing with most of the independent power producers failing to raise the money to implement projects that Zera would have granted licences for.
The energy sector requires US$12 billion in infrastructure spending to resuscitate itself, according to government.
“There were issues of financing that were raised by IDBZ [Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe], ZETDC [Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company], ZPC [Zimbabwe Power Company], ZNCC [Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce], CZI [Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries], the farmers etc,” Zaranyika said.
“There were concerns on financing of projects, that there were a lot of projects that were not coming to fulfilment and as a regulator we managed to host an indaba a few weeks ago on financing of projects and we are awaiting results.”
The energy regulator has since developed third-party access codes which allow independent power producers to feed into the national grid.
“There was concern on access to energy. In terms of access of energy, as a regulator we have managed to create the third-party access code which actually gives everyone the opportunity to actually join the grid through that access code. We are also building transmission grids through the independent power producers.”
Zera has also developed grid codes on the distribution process and is enforcing these codes to ensure that safety is reached, and reliability services are addressed.
However, Zaranyika noted that transformer vandalism was still rife.
In the meantime, Zera is also working on fuel quality and has been grading fuel stations for the benefit of consumers.
“There have been also issues concerning fuel quality all over the country. As the authority, we conducted selections and we have got a van which is cutting across the country on a day-to-day basis, checking on the quality of fuel.
“To add on that, we have started grading all the fuel stations using from the range from A to E. When you see A, it means you are getting the best quality,” Zaranyika added. – (Newsday)