Zim on path for energy security

Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe is on a path to ensure national energy security as shown by the number of power projects being implemented across the country.

This was said by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Zhemu Soda at the official launch of the Distributed Renewable Energy Taskforce (DRETF) yesterday in the capital.

“As you may be aware, the Ministry developed an all-encompassing National Energy Policy in 2012. The Policy prioritises universal access to modern energy to our citizens. This is being done through the development of traditional energy projects using thermal power, new and modern energies such as solar, biofuels and others,” said Minister Soda.

The Minister further said that there had been significant progress in the adoption of renewable energy by citizens.

“I am informed that we now have a cumulative grid connected capacity of about 10MW from various grid-tied solar projects and we expect to commission a total of more than 25MW by end of 2021 also from various IPP projects. We also have several grid tied mini-hydropower plants at various sites which are contributing more than 30MW to the grid. Other distributed mini-hydropower plants are also at various stages of development,” added the Minister.

Minister Soda informed that the country was witnessing a surge in renewable energy projects in the country.

“In 2020, ZERA licenced 22 renewable energy projects with a capacity of more than 700MW. In total, more than 80 IPP projects have been licensed and around 20 projects have been developed since 2010. Though small, these projects are assisting in improving energy security,” said Minister Soda.

The Minister said that Biogas digesters have also been useful in improving energy access in decentralised communities.

He said that from 2015 up to date, more than 400 domestic biogas digesters had been constructed at homesteads and 90 institutional biogas digesters had been constructed at hospitals and boarding schools.

Minister Soda added that Renewable Energy was the future of universal access to modern energy and he implored Zimbabweans to utilise the opportunities offered by renewable energy resources that are abundant in this country.

In 2019, the Ministry launched the National Renewable Energy Policy and the Biofuels Policy with the intention of increasing the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix.

 The policies were also aligned to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 7 which focuses on affordable and clean energy.