Zimbabwe Plans to Install First Floating Solar Panels at Kariba Dam by Early Next Year

Via Bloomberg, a report on Zimbabwe’s plans to install first floating solar panels at Kariba Dam

  • Installment of 150-megawatt project possible early next year
  • Lower dam levels due to drought have resulted in power cuts

An initial 150 megawatts of solar on the surface of the Kariba Dam will be the start of the project, Gloria Magombo, secretary for energy and power development, told reporters at a briefing in the capital, Harare. The private sector has applied to install 600 megawatts, she said, declining to provide details.

Lower water levels at Kariba, which straddles Zimbabwe and Zambia, have caused an increase in power cuts. The Zambezi River Authority has reduced water allocation for power generation due to a drought. The shortages have triggered a search for other technologies to boost capacity.

The government also plans to install floating panels at the Mutirikwi Dam and there’s been steady interest from the private sector for more projects, Magombo said.

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About This Blog And Its Author
As the scarcity of water and energy continues to grow, the linkage between these two critical resources will become more defined and even more acute in the months ahead.  This blog is committed to analyzing and referencing articles, reports, and interviews that can help unlock the nascent, complex and expanding linkages between water and energy -- The Watergy Nexus -- and will endeavor to provide a central clearinghouse for insightful articles and comments for all to consider.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has held a lifelong interest in environmental and conservation issues, primarily as they relate to freshwater scarcity, renewable energy, and national park policy.  Working from a water-scarce base in Las Vegas with his wife and son, he is the founder of Water Politics, an organization dedicated to the identification and analysis of geopolitical water issues arising from the world’s growing and vast water deficits, and is also a co-founder of SmartMarkets, an eco-preneurial venture that applies web 2.0 technology and online social networking innovations to motivate energy & water conservation.  He previously worked for an independent power producer in Central Asia; co-authored an article appearing in the Summer 2010 issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, titled: “The Water Ethic: The Inexorable Birth Of A Certain Alienable Right”; and authored an article appearing in the inaugural issue of Johns Hopkins University's Global Water Magazine in July 2010 titled: “H2Own: The Water Ethic and an Equitable Market for the Exchange of Individual Water Efficiency Credits.”