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Serious Power Crisis Threaten Zimbabwean Small Businesses

Nov 07, 2019 04:07 PM
Serious Power Crisis Threaten Zimbabwean Small Businesses Africa Business Radio, Podcast, Zimbabwe, Africa Business News, Electricity, Power, Eskom, South Africa


Many Zimbabwean small to large businesses are turning to solar energy to try and overcome one of the country's worst challenges - prolonged electricity cuts. With the country experiencing a serious power crisis, using generators is proving to be unsustainable for many businesses given high expenses related to generators. Since running a generator for a longer period is significantly more expensive, production input costs go up. The costs are either passed onto customers in the form of higher prices or are absorbed by producers in the form of lower profit margins. Zimbabwe is only able to churn about one-third of its total power capacity to the grid due to a combination of factors including dilapidated power infrastructure at one of its largest power plant, Hwange Thermal plant. Production at a more stable Kariba Hydro Power plant has been seriously affected by the low water level in Lake Kariba. Zimbabwe requires at 1 800 megawatts but as of yesterday, it was generating 576 MW. Importing power is also a challenge as some of the regional suppliers, particularly Eskom of South Africa, is struggling to keep its generating units in service.

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