The mandate of the Rural Electrification Fund is to facilitate rapid and equitable electrification of rural all areas of Zimbabwe as well as facilitating exploitation of renewable energy technologies such as solar and Biogas. Universal access to modern energy services by 2030
As a matter of principle, REF will extend the electricity grid to rural public institutions, villages and other settlements through three regimes:-
Rural public institutions: These include:-
Health Centres .
Government extension and/or administrative outposts (veterinary, police, local authorities, etc.) .
Local communities through their local government structures represented by the Provincial Administrators identify and recommend projects to be implemented and these are done by REF with 100% capital subsidy. Normally, such institutions should be located within 5km from the nearest grid.
Community Driven projects include: ·
Irrigation schemes ·
Individual homesteads .
Business centres and other related projects
Communities may sort themselves into groups of a minimum of 10 households each and contribute 50% to the cost of electrifying their villages, farms, social institutions and any such settlements or end uses. REA is required to contribute the other 50% in the form of project materials.For individual homesteads, the subsidy is only 40%.
In either of the cases above, REF prepares a roll out program comprising a list of projects approved for implementation in consultation with the Provincial Administrators at the end of the current year for implementation in the following year.
Customer Fully Funded
Any other project that is neither for a rural institution nor government extension office in terms of this classification such as telecommunications base stations, nor any individual or group scheme that is not on the roll out program for that year and may not wish to wait for their turn may pay full cost of the project before the project is done.
Biogas is a clean and efficient fuel gas produced from anaerobic fermentation of biomass under water, usually in a biogas digester. The gas commonly called methane often occurs alongside Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) and moisture. It is easily combustible, odourless and because it is less dense than oxygen, it is non-explosive if exposed to the environment. Raw materials for Biogas Production: · Animal dung · Poultry droppings ·Plant waste (husk, grass, weeds, hyacinth etc) · Sewage · Industrial waste (wastes from food and processing industry) · Domestic wastes (vegetables peels, wastes food materials) Uses of Biogas Energy . Biogas light · Cooking and heating · Lighting · Electricity generation (running a generator which produces electricity) · Water pumping (running a water pump) · Rich organic fertilizer production.
Sunlight can be harnessed by appropriate material to provide sustainable energy to meet part of the energy requirements for rural communities who do not have access to conventional electricity in the foreseeable future.
Mini Grid Solar System
The mini grid solar system comprises a solar array (group of solar modules), battery tank (group of battery cells), control unit, inverter, distribution lines and loads. They are suitable for use in large institutions (schools and clinics) which require more power than ordinary households.
Portable Solar Home System (SHS)
A solar home system comprises of a solar module, charge controller, inverter, battery and lights. It is suitable for use by individual households with relatively low power demands mainly for lighting and powering of radio, television, computers and cell phone charge.
Single Wire Earth Return (SWER)
SWER is a new technology undertaken by REF to speed up the rural electrification programme. The technology where a single conductor is used as opposed to the conventional three phase system is convenient, fast to implement and cheaper.
Low Cost Distribution Board
An LCDB is a compact 8 way distribution board with a double socket outlet, a switch and the lamp in a bulk head fitting. It is cheaper and affordable to rural communities who fail to raise cash for internal wiring.