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Zimbabwean Minister of Energy and Power Development, H.E. Soda Zhemu, has highlighted the country’s ambitions to generate 2,000 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. With significant potential across the green energy space, the country is targeting the deployment of solar and wind technologies to meet rising demand and reduce the reliance on electricity imports.
“My Ministry’s strategic goal is to achieve and install renewable capacity of 1,100 MW or 16,5% of total electricity, or whichever is higher by 2025 and 2,100 MW or 26% by 2030,” outlined H.E. Minister Zhemu.
The Zimbabwean government has also applied for $10 million in green funding from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal fund for technical assistant, project development and capacity building. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and several other solar and wind independent power producers (IPPs) currently do not fulfil the southern African country’s electricity needs, hence, Zimbabwe’s power supply shortfall.
To alleviate this shortfall, electricity has to-date been imported via the Southern African Power Pool from South Africa and Mozambique to add on to a combined 1,400 MW from ZESA’s Kariba hydroelectric plant on the Zambezi River and the Hwange thermal power station. The southern African country also seeks to diversify its energy mix by exploring solar energy generation and aims to reach 100 MW of wind energy generation by 2050.
The Zimbabwean government has additional aims to expand its electricity market to incorporate the private sector and implement recently adjusted net metering regulations. The adjusted net metering regulations now allow an excess 5 MW of electricity to be fed into the grid from households and businesses in exchange for a reduced electricity bill. New regulations also allow IPPs the option to sell uncapped electricity to private consumers subject to licensing from ZESA. Through diversifying its energy mix with renewables, Zimbabwe will stabilize the country’s power supply and further improve access to electricity.