- September 2, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
GOVERNMENT is set to regularise installation of solar energy systems and license technicians for both domestic and commercial purposes to protect users of the alternative energy in line with global standards.
Solar equipment installers who will violate the upcoming law, will be fined or prohibited from providing the service.
Consultations for the new law are underway and various professional bodies and stakeholders have been urged to make their submissions before September 30 to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera).
Over the years, more power consumers have resorted to solar energy due to power cuts.
Failure by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company to timely provide power to customers especially in new residential areas has also led to the rise in domestic users opting for solar energy.
Zera revealed the latest development through a statement posted on it’s website.
It said the measures are part of the solar photovoltaic system (PS) that the energy regulator has designed.
“Installers of solar energy systems at household and commercial level shall require licences to operate as part of measures aimed at improving service delivery and to protect consumers from substandard workmanship in the wake of increased uptake of renewable energy technologies.
“The proposed regulations, which apply to solar photovoltaic PV system manufacturers, importers, vendors, technicians, contractors, system owners, a solar PV system installation and consumer devices are provided for under section 65 of the Electricity Act [Chapter 13:19]” reads the statement.
Zera stated that four types of licences will be issued starting with those who can install systems at domestic and commerical levels.
The licences will be issued depending on the installer’s capacity to fix the system in terms of wattage and voltage.
“The entry level, Class ST1, is for solar PV technicians qualified to design, install, commission, maintain, and repair solar PV systems with a single inverter, single charge controller, single or multiple solar PV modules not more than 400 watts. The highest level is Class ST4, which is for technicians who are able to design, install, commission, maintain, and repair grid-tied or hybrid or solar water pumping systems with installed capacity of at least 50kW,” read the statement.
The energy regulator noted that placing regulations will bring relief to consumers as some of them have suffered losses due to poor workmanship.
“Solar PV electrical wiring at domestic and commercial level requires qualified personnel as any mishap can be fatal and costly hence the need for licensing. A list of licensed installers will be published on the Zera website and technicians who violate the licence conditions will be blacklisted, their licence being revoked, cancelled or pay a prohibitive fine,” read the statement.
Zera said it was taking a leaf from countries such as Kenya, Australia and the United Arab Emirates which have similar laws.
“Zimbabwe’s vision is to ensure increased access to modern energy for all by 2030 and renewable energy sources such as solar are expected to play a significant role in catalysing the uptake,” read the statement_The Chronicle