Zim navigates electricity challenges amidst rising demand

Staff reporter

Zimbabwe has managed to maintain a relatively stable electricity supply. However, the country is bracing for potential load shedding during peak morning and evening periods. This development follows a recent favourable period from May 19 to June 2, during which power generation exceeded 1300 Mega Watts.

According to a source within the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC), who preferred anonymity, the intricate web of Zimbabwe's electricity supply reveals both resilience and strategic collaboration. In May 2024, the nation's energy landscape boasted an average supply of 1424 MW, with 1279 MW generated domestically and an additional 244 MW imported from neighbouring Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia.

“However, a slight dip occurred in the first week of June, with the supply averaging 1342 MW, comprising 1213 MW from local sources and 248 MW from imports. Despite these fluctuations, Zimbabwe maintained its commitment to international energy partnerships, exporting 120 MW during this period.

“The pivotal role of key power stations, notably Hwange and Kariba Hydro Power Station, cannot be overstated in meeting the nation's electricity demands. As of June 7, Hwange units 1, 3, and 4 collectively supplied 220 MW, complemented by units 7 and 8 contributing 614 MW. Additionally, Kariba Hydro Power Station added 300 MW to the grid, providing essential stability amidst fluctuating supply and demand dynamics,” said source.

Speaking at the Energy and Power Development Committee's induction workshop, Minister Edgar Moyo stressed that electricity is fundamental to economic development and the realization of national aspirations.

“Currently, Zimbabwe's electricity access stands at 62%, with 34% connected to the national grid and an additional 28% utilizing alternative sources like solar power. The Government recognizes the importance of both grid expansion and the adoption of renewable energy solutions to meet the diverse energy needs of the population” said Minister Moyo.

He further underscored the centrality of electricity in Zimbabwe's journey towards economic prosperity.

“Electricity is not just a commodity, it is the lifeblood of economic progress and the key to unlocking Zimbabwe's full potential. As we embark on our journey towards economic prosperity, it becomes increasingly evident that access to reliable and affordable electricity is fundamental to every aspect of our development agenda,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the onset of the winter season brings increased electricity demand, particularly from wheat farmers who require power for irrigation. This underscores the importance of proactive measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply during critical periods.