The Chinese government yesterday donated 180 solar water heaters to the Zimbabwe Republic Police as part of a project to introduce China's experience and technology in solar energy development to the solar energy-rich southern African country.
The pilot project, of which the first phase worth 1.5 million yuan (US$187,500) was completed in 1998, has brought great changes to the life of 110 households, said Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhang Xianyi at the handover ceremony for completion of the second phase.
Large-scale use of solar water heaters can help reduce Zimbabwe's electricity imports and peak demand during the winter season, Zimbabwe's Energy and Power Development Minister Mike Nyambuya said at the ceremony in Harare.
Nyambuya said uptake of renewable energy technologies in Zimbabwe was being hampered by high initial investment costs, lack of knowledge about benefits to be accrued and the prevailing macro-economic environment.
The aim of the pilot project is to evaluate the performance of the Chinese-made solar heaters under local conditions, to train local technicians in installation and maintenance, to demonstrate the green energy technology and to promote commercial and industrial cooperation in this field, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2006)