With rampant load shedding currently ongoing in Zimbabwe, many people are turning to alternative power in the form of solar. From small tasks as phone charging to huge enterprise in manufacturing and heavy industry, solar is replacing electricity from the ZESA grid.
How much does solar cost?
Over the years, solar costs are continuously decreasing, making it a more affordable option for power. Although the sun from which solar power derives it’s energy from is free and abundant in Zimbabwe, setting up the system has costs. The beauty of solar is that once the initial solar is installed, there are no running costs.
The main solar for household use is off-grid and back-up. Off-grid is ideal for most rural homes or remote farms where there is no grid electricity. Back-up solar is suitable in towns where solar takes over in the event of power cuts.
Either way, the main components to buy are
- Solar panels
The amount of items you require would depend on your load and usage. Load refers to the appliances that your solar powers. Usage refers to the amount of time you have those items in use. Load affect inverter size and usage affects solar panels and battery size. To work out a solar suitable to your needs, a load and usage calculation is required in order to come up with an adequate number of each.
The most common solar panel sizes in Zimbabwe market are 100W to 500W. Prices range from +/- $65 to $250 depending on brand and size. Inverters also vary in prices depending on size, and brand with ranges from $300 to $800. Lithium batteries although costly, are durable and long-lasting with prices running into thousands for good brands.
Solar prices are not cheap at the start, and is a barrier to most people. However, companies like KumbaDirect.com, offer solutions for those based in the UK and Europe diaspora to buy solar in instalments. KumbaDirect is one of the best solar businesses serving the UK and Africa selected markets, including Zimbabwe. This makes solar much more affordable and easy to buy for Zimbabweans based in the diaspora.