Last year, we reported on how Econet would leverage the 3000 hours of sunshine/year to reduce their own reliance on ZESA through DPA (Distributed Power Africa). At the time I thought DPA would mostly power in-house projects but their recent activity suggests that I couldn’t have been further from the truth than I was.
12 months have passed since that initial article and 15 projects have been taken on by DPA and they seem to be on an interesting path.
The projects undertaken thus far include installations on 6 Econet buildings, Kefalos, Surrey, lodges like Bomani and Nehimba, schools, NGOs and beverage companies. It’s a pretty long list but that’s not even the most interesting bits of the work being done by DPA…
Why is this such a great idea for companies?
A colleague of mine made an interesting observation and parallel regarding DPA. He noted how NetOne initially had wider coverage, a larger subscriber base as well as better quality service than Econet initially. Over time, however, service became worse and worse and the competition offered a more consistence experience. My colleague strongly felt that the same thing will happen to ZESA who have offered a far-from consistent service over the last two decades.
Even if DPA were to offer a more expensive alternative to
The fact that companies will also be paying fees over a longer period will make lower the entry barrier for solar installation as the costs are usually quite steep.
The potential for growth is there
There seems to be a positive outlook from DPA as well as the current shortages of fuel and potential power outages have meant more interest for their service. We got in touch with Divyajeet Mahajan CEO of DPA in Zimbabwe and this is what he had to say regarding potential for growth:
DPA has signed more than 100 MW expressions of interest in solar solutions from a wide range of companies in Zimbabwe including mines, malls, offices, hotels , schools , manufacturing plants , NGO offices , churches , clinics etc . The current challenges with diesel shortages and potential for power disruption and the need to have reliable and clean energy has made solar and Lithium batteries a very attractive alternative energy option . The fact that DPA requires no upfront investment from the customer, and takes care of operations and maintenance has increased interest to adopt Solar. DPA guarantees performance of their technology and systems and this has built a lot of confidence in the market .Divyajeet Mahajan – CEO of DPA Zimbabwe
Growth potential should also mean something for people looking for residential solutions, right? Well, yeah:
There has been an increase in demand for residential energy solutions and DPA has started registering customers for residential solar solutions in Zimbabwe . Customers have a choice between a 2.5kw , 5kw or a 10 kw solar and battery inverter solution . Some customers might just choose a battery inverter solution alone as long as the main grid is functional. Financing options are also available for these solutions.Divyajeet Mahajan
Though the Distributed Power Africa journey is still in its infancy, one can’t help but feel this will be an immensely interesting journey…