18 January 2013 – Zimbabwe’s power generation is a long way off meeting the estimated peak demand of 2,500 MW. The country’s power stations are generating under 900 MW with an additional 460 MW being imported.
As a result of the power shortage there has been a proliferation of solar lanterns in the country, with over 400,000 households now owning solar lanterns from cellular and wireless telecommunications group Econet, most of them with built-in chargers. Econet says it has ambitious plans to put a solar charger within reach of each of every one of its customers to cover future power cuts. The company also has the largest number of diesel generators operating in Zimbabwe and recently began replacing some of them with solar powered systems.
Econet says it is now able to keep its system going even if the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) shuts down 100% countrywide.