by Gift Mashoko
Zimbabwe has a lot of potential in the energy sector, particularly in the small hydro power, wind and geo thermal energy sources among others. Potential investors can grab opportunities through these energy sources.
Speaking at a Renpower Zimbabwe Investment Summit, Energy and Power Development Secretary, Dr Gloria Magombo highlighted that Zimbabwe has potential in small hydro power as well as in the wind energy sources.
“The country has potential for small hydro power of about 150MW which exists on both internal dams throughout the country and perennial rivers especially in the Eastern Highlands for both gird-connected and off-grid systems. Currently, a mini-hydro power cumulative capacity of 30MW has been developed from the estimated 150MW.
“Wind speed over Zimbabwe were once said to be generally low averaging 3.0m/s, however, recent studies by IRENA show that the country has good wind energy resource. As a result government intends to carry out a wind resource assessment exercise to confirm the results obtained from satellite data used by IRENA,” she said.
Dr Magombo also said the country has potential for geothermal energy, considering the number of hot springs in certain areas of Zimbabwe.
“The country also has potential for geothermal energy. Several sites in the North-Western and South-Eastern parts of the country have hot springs. Preliminary studies have identified a number of sites in the Hwange-Binga area. The water can be used for processes requiring hot water or as pre-heated water for raising steam for power generation,” she said.
With this in mind, she highlighted that Government was encouraging investment in such small power plants of capacity below 50MW which may be installed on various sites countrywide.