The Zimbabwean government has issued an ultimatum on 70 independent power producers (IPPs) sitting on licences for renewable energy projects, to immediately start project implementation.
According to the Energy and Power Development ministry, more than 90 licences were issued to IPPs for renewable energy projects but only 20 projects have shown progress.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the National Renewable Energy Policy document in March 2020 to promote optimal supply and utilisation of energy for socio-economic development.
Addressing the ongoing fourth edition of the International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo 2022 hosted by Alpha Media Holdings’ The Standard newspaper on Wednesday evening in Victoria Falls, Energy and Power Development minister Soda Zhemu said:
I know that we have more than 90 licences that have been issued to various project developers, which have not moved the way we expect.
Of the 90, only 20 have so far shown some progress. Let me invite those that have so far obtained licences to begin to make meaningful developments.
This is happening when Zimbabwe is facing an acute shortage of power, a situation that has adversely impacted on production and efforts to revive the economy.
The push for renewable energy projects comes as research from the Zimbabwe Energy Council (ZEC) shows that such power projects have a potential of 1 872 megawatts (MW) of power. The current electricity deficit is between 1 200 and 1 600MW.
The country has a solar potential of 16 to 20 MJ/m2/day in Zimbabwe, which is unexploited and can generate up to 600MW.
If the potential of geothermal (50MW) is added along with biomass (1 000MW), small hydro (120MW), and wind (100MW), to solar energy generation, the country has a total renewable energy potential of 1 872MW, according to ZEC.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent