H.E. Soda Zhemu, Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development Minister, has emphasized the country’s goal of generating 2,000 MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. With tremendous potential in the green energy sector, the country is focusing on solar and wind technology deployment to fulfill expanding demand and minimize dependency on imported electricity.
“By 2025, my Ministry’s strategic target is to achieve and deploy the renewable output of 1,100 MW or 16,5 percent of total electricity, whichever is higher,” H.E. Minister Zhemu stated, “and 2,100 MW or 26 percent by 2030.”
The Zimbabwean government has also submitted to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund $10 million in green funds for technical assistance, project development, and capacity building. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and a number of other wind and solar independent power producers (IPPs) are currently unable to meet Zimbabwe’s electricity needs, resulting in a power shortage.
To make up for the shortage, electricity has been imported from South Africa and Mozambique via the Southern African Power Pool, bringing the total capacity of ZESA’s Kariba hydroelectric facility on the Zambezi River as well as the Hwange thermal power station to 1,400 MW. By 2050, the southern African country hopes to broaden its energy mix by pursuing solar energy generation and achieving a wind energy generation capacity of 100 megawatts.
The Zimbabwean government also wants to open up the country’s electricity market to the private sector and apply new net metering legislation. Adjusted net metering restrictions now allow households and businesses to feed an extra 5 MW of electricity into the grid in exchange for a lower electricity bill. In addition, new regulations give IPPs the option of selling uncapped electricity to corporate consumers, subject to ZESA approval. Zimbabwe’s power supply will be stabilized and access to electricity will be improved by diversifying its energy balance with renewables.
“The program intends to attract private investment to assist renewable energy projects in order to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” according to the United Nations. In this way, the 7th MDG of access to sustainable energy would boost economic development, women’s and youth empowerment, electrification, climate action, and other goals in this East African country.
In April 2022, the execution of this renewable energy funding initiative will begin. This project will also boost the country’s installed capability at a period when the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is now only distributing 1,600 megawatts of power out of the demand of 2,000 megawatts.