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Zim targets 2 000MW clean energy by 2030

An ambitious target of producing more than 2 000MW of renewable energy by 2030 has been set, while a US$10 million green fund facility has been secured to finance clean energy, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda, has said.

He was speaking at the 3rd International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo last Friday.
The minister said the transformation of Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income society by 2030 requires commitment to rapidly deploy modern energy solutions.
Zimbabwe is already experiencing intermittent load-shedding particularly during peak hours and needs extra generation capacity to meet current needs and then a lot more to ensure economic growth can continue.
Minister Soda said in keeping with this mandate, the Government was implementing capacity building through public and private sector models to ensure social-economic development.
“This renewable energy conference could not have come at a better time than this considering the benefit of deployment of renewable energy technology in dealing with our energy power situation,” he said.
“My ministry’s strategic goal is to achieve and install renewable capacity of 1 100MW or 16,5 percent of total electricity, or whichever is higher by 2025 and 2 100MW or 26 percent by 2030.
“I am glad to announce that my ministry successfully applied for US$10 million green funding from the Sustainable Development Goal Fund, which will be deployed towards capacity building and project development.
“The fund, which has a focus towards women and youth is expected to reach up to US$45 million through local additions.
“We will be launching this renewable energy fund as soon as all administrative processes have been made,” said Minister Soda. He said the Ministry of Energy had adopted a number of instruments aimed at ensuring that energy efficiency and renewable solutions were quickly adopted by consumers.
Two draft documents, the Power Purchase Agreement and Government Support Implement Agreement, both of which are at an advanced stage of adoption, have already been put in place.
In order to accelerate participation of private sector in project development, Minister Soda said, the Energy and Finance Ministries have been working with the African Legal Opportunities Facility under the banner of the African Development Bank to come up with competitive procurement framework.
Some of the legal requirements involve customs and excise regulations, importation of solar equipment and ban on use of inefficient appliances and net metering regulations. Net metering allows consumers with their own renewable capacity, generally solar panels, to sell to Zesa when they have surplus and buy when they need more power, with the monthly bill just being the difference.
All these regulations and policy instruments are aimed at accelerating adoption of renewable energy and enhancing energy efficiency, which is one of the resolutions of the United Nations Cop26.
These energy solutions are expected to raise employment levels and reducing poverty rates to levels consistent with the upper middle-income society.
The minister said the country will shortly be expected to see an influx of investment in renewable energy sector and an accelerated implementation of projects that had halted.
Apart from signing agreements with Zesa’s distribution subsidiary ZETDC, the independent power producers can generate electricity and sell to customers of their choice in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the regulator is seized with ensuring that fees are not prohibitive in order to promote realisation of that policy provision.
As such, Minister Soda said the conference provides a framework of how COP26 resolutions can then be pursued, as it also proposed an implementation matrix, which will result in a basis for review of achievements of nationally determined goals.
He said there was a need to beneficiate the country’s mineral resources, adding that the theme of the conference: “Net Zero Africa” was apt and resonates well with our medium mid-term and long-term aspirations to de-carbonise the energy sector using sustainable energy technology.
Speaking on the same platform, Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Richard Moyo said the renewable energy conference was an opportunity to invest in alternative clean energy and creating employment.
“In terms of energy infrastructure, we have the biggest solar plant in Hwange district while another is under construction. We also have the biggest thermal power plant, which is being upgraded and biggest independent thermal power producer. All this puts this province as a powerhouse in the country,” said Minister Moyo.
Several other independent power producers have started in the province, which is testimony that Matabeleland North is set to become a leading renewable energy hub in the near future.
“As a province in line with NDS1, we are going to continue to promote investment in the renewable energy in a drive to realise Vision 2030 and address global aspirations of sustainable development goals and Africa Agenda 2063,” said Minister Moyo.
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