ZESA Explores Alternative Energy Sources Due to ‘No New Coal’ Program –

Zimbabwe’s Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is exploring alternative energy sources in response to the call to move away from coal-fired power plants as part of the global ‘no new coal’ program.

This was revealed by ZESA Holdings Executive Chairman Dr Sydney Gata during a recent Zimbabwe Power Company tour of Hwange.

A significant portion of global pollution comes from a few countries, for example, the United States is responsible for almost 14% of all global emissions.

It is rather unfortunate that Zimbabwe has found itself at the mercy of new global thermal energy regulations, quickly becoming a victim of the abandonment of coal, reports The Herald.

Speaking to the media, Gata lamented the potential loss of the abundant resource to the new global code of practice leading the world towards cutting carbon emissions from industries, further citing that the “no new coal agenda” wipe out the resource market around the world. .

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Zimbabwe studies new power supply agreements with neighboring countries

Zimbabwe finds itself in a bind as one of its first donors (China) has since responded to the call for “no new coal program” thus ending its funding programs, particularly in favor of southern Africa rich in coal resources.

“On the coal issue, it’s really a sad story for southern Africa, especially for countries rich in this mineral resource, but for the moment, the door is closed to coal-fired power plants.

“No one is going to fund them, in fact we would benefit a lot if the funding was still available. In Europe and also in America but especially in China where they dismantled dozens of these plants. We have no more market, ”said Gata.

The executive chairman was quick, however, to point out some of the alternatives his company had “up the sleeve” to compensate for the impending power shortage given that coal-fired power stations were at the heart of Zimbabwe’s energy mix.

ZESA explores plasma gasification

“The door has closed on coal, so we need to look for alternative technologies and we are investigating with partners in South Korea to explore plasma gasification of municipal waste, which has marginal environmental consequences.

“This (is) a project that we are already in a phase of development study in Harare and we will probably extend it to Bulawayo because this facility will be located in large cities that discharge a lot of municipal waste which will be the fuel of the technology, ”Gata said.

Plasma gasification is an emerging technology that can process landfill waste to extract recyclables and convert carbon-based materials into fuels.

Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe are some of the countries that have implemented coal-fired power plans despite the global “no new coal” program.

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These five African countries are part of a group of 21 countries that have more than one new coal-fired power plant in the planning stage.

The five African countries all have projects seeking funding from China and now face an uncertain future following calls to move away from coal.

Zimbabwe has access to vast and diverse potential energy resources, including about 12 billion metric tonnes of coal and hydroelectric potential concentrated along the Zambezi River.

However, massive efforts are being made to harness the potential of solar energy.

Rosemary C. Kearney