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Power cuts cost 6.1% of Zim’s GDP per year – WB


Dec 14, 2023

By ETimes

The World Bank (WB) estimates that power shortages are costing Zimbabwe 6.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

In its report titled Electrifying Growth Through Reliable and Universal Energy Access, WB revealed that this amount is made up of 3.8% of GDP from the downstream costs of unstable electricity and 2.3% from generating inefficiencies and excessive network losses.

Zimbabweans experienced a steady supply of electricity from the end of June until September, which coincided with the August general elections.

“If Zimbabwe hopes to achieve the high growth rates needed to move toward upper middle-income status by 2030, it will be critical to realise stable and reliable electricity access,” WB stated.

According to medium-term WB estimates, the demand for energy is expected to rise from 1,950 MW in 2022 to 5,177 MW by 2030, mostly due to increases in the mining and agricultural sectors.

“The government is planning to expand electricity access through various sources, but it remains unclear how the investment needed will be financed.”

The Batoka Gorge Project, which is expected to be finished after 2034 and provide 1,200 MW of energy for Zimbabwe, and Devil’s Gorge, which is expected to be completed by 2040, are the two projects with the largest predicted increases in electricity supply.

Access has significantly improved in Zimbabwe, although the rate of rural electrification has stalled, according to WB.

“Between 2014 and 2020, overall energy access expanded from 32 to 53 percent, driven by a rapid rise in access in rural areas, while urban areas saw a minor rise,” it said.

“However, the overall pace of expansion is slowing down, and there is a need for significant investment to achieve universal access by 2030.”

In July 2019, the African Development Bank highlighted that the country needs US$34 billion over the next decade to restore its road, rail, aviation, energy, information and communication technology, and water and sanitation infrastructure to proper working conditions.

This means that the country requires US$3.4 billion annually from 2020 to 2030-HARARE

By ETimes

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