Zimbabwe Looks to the Sun as Drought Hits Hydropower

Z imbabwe is pushing forward with plans to build four new solar power plants, amid a drought that has battered its ability to generate hydroelectricity.

Severe dry conditions - linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon bringing extreme weather around the world - are affecting big and small producers of hydropower alike.

Phillip Muwungani of Chipendeke village, 70 km southeast of Mutare city, said his community's vision of producing its own clean electricity using water is fading.

Drought has affected water levels in Chitora River which powers the Chipendeke micro hydro plant, making electricity generation erratic.

The plant, which supplies electricity to villagers, a school, a clinic and a business centre, was built under a sustainable energy initiative backed by the ZERO Regional Environment Organisation, the Zimbabwe Energy Council and international development groups.

http://www.reuters.com/article/africa-drought-zimbabwe-solar-idUSL5N16H34O

Rick Willoughby

#solar

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