• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Of energy poverty in Zimbabwe

ByEconomic Times

May 6, 2023

By ETimes

Zimbabwe has been facing a severe electricity crisis for several years. The country’s power generation capacity is insufficient to meet the demand, resulting in frequent power cuts and load shedding. The situation has been exacerbated by droughts that have reduced the water levels in the country’s hydroelectric dams.

There is energy poverty in Zimbabwe. Millions of Zimbabweans have no access to electricity, and industry is suffering from the lack of electricity. The addition of 300 MW is just a drop in the ocean.

For the purposes of energy security, the country will need approximately 2000 MW against an installed capacity of around 1400.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), which is responsible for generating and distributing electricity in the country, has been struggling to keep up with the demand. The power cuts have had a significant impact on businesses and households, affecting productivity and quality of life.

To address the electricity crisis, Zimbabwe has been exploring alternative sources of energy such as solar and thermal power. The government has also been working on improving infrastructure and investing in new power plants.

Despite these efforts, the electricity situation in Zimbabwe remains challenging, and it will take time to resolve the issue fully.

And for the country to achieve the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), it will need no less than 4000 MW. We are here talking about a serious industrialisation and reindustrialization program, as well as a serious modernisation and innovation agenda, not the jokes that we often hear from some of the policymakers.

Research has also shown that there are approximately 225 dams and rivers where hydroelectric power can be produced. Regrettably, some policymakers are either blind to that or oblivious to the massive HEP power potential in the country.

Unfortunately, the Hwange Thermal Power Station will not satisfy Zimbabwe’s power hunger for energy. Whatever the Indians are doing in Hwange is wasting the country’s resources and time. They are incompetent, and their equipment is antiquated.

If Zimbabwe still wants to continue with coal-powered thermal stations, it should decommission all those units and install brand new units.

Of course, the world is frowning at unclean energy, but I think it’s only fair for Zimbabwe and other African countries to use their coal while they develop energy alternatives.

At a continental level, global financial institutions should support the Ingar Dam in the DRC, which has the capacity to provide clean energy to the rest of the continent – Harare

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