THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce has embarked on a countrywide industry energy efficiency training programme that is expected to result in significant energy saving for the country.
The energy efficiency and optimisation training programme is being run in conjunction with the Harare Institute of Technology Department of Electronics and Zimtronics.
The development comes in to complement a proposed initiative by the Zesa Holdings to spend US$12 million in the establishment of a virtual power plant, which will see the country saving an estimated 250MW.
The virtual power plant system will entail the issuing out of about 6 million CFL energy-saving bulbs in exchange for the less efficient incandescent light bulbs.
ZNCC business development manager Mr Willard Razawo said the programme would mainly target to reduce industrial energy consumption.
"In light of the current challenges bedevilling the energy sector, the ZNCC has commissioned Zimtronics, in collaboration with the Department of Electronics (Harare Institute of Technology) to embark on a major drive in capacitating its entire membership by initiating energy efficiency training programmes. These are tailor-made to explore various commissioning opportunities for energy efficiency.
"In the short term ZNCC anticipates to recover on average between 220MW and 300MW for industry and commerce, with much again anticipated decline in energy bills by between (20 percent to 40 percent) to industry and commerce," he said.
ZNCC has estimated that about 60 percent of the available power on the grid or demand is industrial consumption.
Approximately 1 520MW is available on average available, and about 900MW outside peak hours is consumed by industry.
The ZNCC estimates that on average the country's national energy grid is wasting or losing energy due to magnetic effects, pseudo-loading and inefficiencies.
This is spread as 180MW-260MW during industrial hours, 245MW-300MW during peak hours and 350MW-450MW during industrial hours.
According to the ZNCC, the programme will include training on new construction commissioning, retro-commissioning, continuous commissioning, and monitoring-based commissioning, as a short- to medium-term measure geared towards addressing the current national energy crisis.
Industrial firms will likely realise low production costs due to less energy bills, possibilities for tariff slashes due to load factor and power factor improvement, and improved security to energy supplies.
Mr Razawo said they anticipate to generate savings of between 10 percent to 15 percent, regardless of capacity through passive energy efficiency programmes.
Another 5 to 15 percent will be saved by combining with active energy efficiency project, further 2 percent to 8 percent can be realised through continuous commissioning, monitoring-based commissioning and retro-commissioning.