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Bundling solar as part of new housing developments from the get-go is an awesome idea to help increase the penetration of solar. Depending on the size of homes and the level backup required to back up key loads, a lot of housing developments are now incorporating solar coupled with battery storage in packages.
The 99kW Mashaba Solar Mini-Grid project, funded under the Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities programme, provides solar energy to power three irrigation schemes, five business centres, a clinic, a school and a study centre. The initiative is an example of a joint public, private and donor business and financial model.
Under the first phase of Food Security and Livelihoods Project, two solar-powered irrigation schemes were established in Shurugwi and Makoni districts. Farmers have also been trained on income savings and lending and enterprise development as some of the mechanisms to cope with climate change effects.
Access to energy is one of the priorities of Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy (NDS 1) for economic growth, which envisages a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by 2030. Increasing access to electricity is one of the most effective ways of fulfilling Zimbabwe’s development goals and improving the quality of life.
Zimbabwe wants lithium miners operating in the country to work towards producing battery-grade lithium locally and could impose a tax on exports of lithium concentrate in future. The southern African country holds significant reserves of lithium, a battery mineral which is vital to the global drive towards cleaner energy technologies.
The off-road three-wheelers are being offered by Mobility for Africa (MFA), a company registered in Mauritius and operating in Zimbabwe. It provides environmentally sustainable mobility services to rural communities, particularly women. The e-tricycle is a custom-built electric tricycle powered by swappable solar-charged battery packs.
The off-grid solar company Zonful Energy has powered over 30,000 homes and currently has a subsidiary business in Mozambique as part of its regional expansion strategy. Zonful has experienced substantial growth, creating 70 direct jobs and more than 2,000 indirect jobs. Its solar products have provided energy to over 30,000 households.
In 2019, a social enterprise called Mobility for Africa (MFA) launched the pilot of their e-tricycle scheme, targeting Zimbabwean women in business with the sustainably-powered, and robust utility vehicles. A group of pregnant women from Igava approached the company for help building an affordable off-grid transport solution.
The crisis, researchers say, has highlighted the growing threat that an increasingly dry and erratic climate poses to African nations that rely on hydropower. In Zimbabwe, it is prompting the government and researchers to step up the search for more dependable energy supplies for the nation’s 16 million people.

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