REAZ urges State to subsidise renewable energy

THE Renewable Energy Association of Zimbabwe (REAZ) has called on government to subsidise renewable fuels to curb the rampant deforestation and land degradation that is driving climate change.

BY SHINGIRAI VAMBE

A majority of citizens have turned to firewood as a cheap source of energy following the 18-hour-long load-shedding regime introduced by Zesa in the face of power generation challenges due to low water levels in Lake Kariba.

Speaking at a Climate Change validation workshop in Harare, REAZ boss Isaiah Nyakusendwa said government should prioritise investment and subsidies in renewable energies particularly at a time when people have resorted into cutting down trees for domestic consumption, processing charcoal, tobacco curing and brick moulding.

“I think government should look into these drivers and prioritise on subsidising such things like LP gas or introduce efficient cooking stoves, while putting in place policies that will save both the affected land and forests,” Nyakusendwa said.

He said duties on all solar equipment should be scraped to encourage use of alternative energy sources.

“Government has removed duty on the solar panels yes, but the rest of the material is being charged duty, and as a government these are the things they should be looking at, since we now have home based solar gadgets which are also being charged duty,” Nyakusendwa said.

The workshop was held in collaboration with government, the United Nations Development Programme and the Russian government.