Renewable Energy In Zimbabwe

Given the plethora of press reports of licences given to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in this country in the last two years, many investors have undoubtedly taken an interest in renewable energy in Zimbabwe. Although in the last few years power surges are fewer and far between, it is reported that the country currently produces around 1 300MW of electricity against an average demand of about 2 000MW. The Government is therefore on a drive to reduce the country’s power import bill by embarking on new power generation projects. This is a short Q&A of some general information in relation to renewable energy in Zimbabwe. Who is responsible for energy policy in Zimbabwe? The Ministry of Energy & Power Development has the overall responsibility for energy in Zimbabwe, which includes policy formulation. The current Minister is Joram Gumbo. Who issues power generation licences? Any IPP requires a licence from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). This includes power generation from solar projects, hydro projects and hybrid projects. ZERA is also the body responsible for the regulation of energy projects in Zimbabwe. Who buys the electricity produced by independent power producers? The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is the body responsible for supplying electricity to consumers in Zimbabwe. It therefore has the responsibility to import, transmit and distribute electricity in Zimbabwe. The ZETDC is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA). Another subsidiary of ZESA is the Zimbabwe Power Company, which is responsible for the generation of electricity. This is why some readers might have read in local press of projects involving the ZPC. Is there a difference in regulation between solar and hydro projects? ZERA is the regulator for both solar and hydro projects. A point of interest here too is that land and water issues are now under the same ministry. Those investing in hydro projects, therefore, can now easily have their land lease issues and water supply agreements dealt with by the same ministry. The ministry is styled the Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Ministry and is headed by Rtd Chief Air Marshall Perrence Shiri. For a further discussion on the development of power projects in Zimbabwe and any further assistance, please contact Wellington Magaya email magaya@cwg.co.zw Irvine H. Chiwara email chiwara@cwg.co.zw