Home » Government » ZIMBABWE PUSHING USE OF LPG FOR COOKING, HEATING TO CURB ELECTRICITY DEMAND

HARARE, May 8– The Zimbabwe government is pushing for increased use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking and heating as a strategy to reduce electricity demand and environmental degradation, says the Acting Energy and Power Development Ministry Permanent Secretary, Benson Munyaradzian.

Zimbabwe has an electricity deficit of around 800 megawatts (MW) which has resulted in the permanent introduction of load shedding to balance rising demand and static supply.

Munyaradzian told stakeholders here Wednesday that the government, through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), would soon embark on a nationwide campaign to demystify the negative perception around use of gas.

“Zimbabwe has always had a negative perception on the use of LPG due to safety concerns,” Munyaradzi said. Use of LPG could reduce national electricity peak demand, reducing load shedding and allowing increase electricity for other productive uses.”

Munyaradzi added that the campaign would centre on safe handling and use of gas given its potential to cause serious damage when mishandled.

Experts in the sector note that gas equipment such as cooking stoves had progressively improved with technological advancement making it easy and safer to use.

Fears, especially of leakages and explosions, continue to deter a large section of the Zimbabwean population from using gas but a study by Zera showed that use of gas was slowly on the rise in the country due to continued load shedding.

The study also revealed that gas was the cheapest form of energy compared with electricity, firewood, gel and paraffin.

The government recently released new licensing requirements and quality standards for wholesalers and retailers of gas in a bid to bring about order in the sector and enhance safety. The authority had noted that most gas retailers were unlicensed and were selling the product in unsuitable conditions.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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