By Robert Tapfumaneyi
ENERGY Minister Fortune Chasi says Africa should take advantage of the vast array of alternative energy sources at its disposal to generate the necessity and improve the lives of its peoples.
He said the continent was endowed with the Inga, best solar insolation, wind, geothermal, natural gas deposits.
Chasi was officially opening the Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) annual general meeting and conference at Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls Wednesday.
“We need to take advantage of our unity and geographical proximity to each other and use that to reduce the cost of building new energy projects.
“Let us evaluate and assess our competitive advantage and harmonise our planning and construction of energy infrastructural projects.
“I am sure Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) have spoken about this opportunity.
“Renewable energy is one area which is close to my heart for I have seen what off-grid solar systems, mini hydros and biogas plants can do in rural communities, industries, institutions, commercial and urban settings.”
Chasi added, “The SADC’s Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan and its Energy Sector Plan is clear in terms of the trajectory member states should take in terms of opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
“The region has diverse renewable energy resources which include some of the best solar irradiation, wind, hydro, geothermal among others, which should be fully harnessed,” he said.
“Let us embrace disruptive technologies in the energy sector.”
The Energy Minister also said, “the other game changer is the joule box which is a portable power unit which provides solar, wind and or hydrogen power”.
“The green hydrogen economy will see hydrogen playing a big role in the energy space through use of renewable energy to convert water to oxygen and hydrogen being used to power vehicles etc,” he said.