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ZERA poised to licence 200MW wind power project

ByETimes

Oct 19, 2023

ETimes

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says it is intensifying efforts to tap into wind energy for power generation to cover the huge energy deficit.

The energy crisis is being attributed to a lack of investment in the energy sector, ageing power generation assets and loss of generation capacity at the flagship Kariba hydropower plant.

Edington Mazambani, ZERA, chief executive officer, said, for now, to plug that gap, we need to have some initiatives.

“There is wind; there are about 100 megawatts out of Mamina; the application has already come through; that power plant is envisaged to supply Dinson, Iron and Steel Company in Manhize in Mvuma,” he said.

“There have been some assessments that are being done in Mutorashanga, and we expect that project to be coming to ZERA for licencing probably in the first quarter of next year. They are happy with the results of the tests they are doing and that is about 200 MW, which is envisaged to come out of Mutorashanga.”

He said a considerable number of companies have expressed interest in investing in wind energy.

“So far, we have one that has applied for a licence for Mamina, and we have another that has indicated to us that they are doing tests and should be coming to us for licencing probably early next year after they have completed their tests,” Mazambani said.

For the purpose of conducting a feasibility assessment on suitable locations for the construction of wind power plants, the ZERA issued a request for proposals in 2017.

But because bidders’ prices greatly exceeded the budget, the project was delayed in 2018.

The goal of the experiment was to accurately assess and analyse Zimbabwe’s wind resource in order to better inform the country’s planning for initiatives using renewable energy.

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2015 Africa Clean Energy Corridor Programme study, which identified solar photovoltaic, concentrating solar power and wind energy zones covering countries in the power pools of Eastern and Southern Africa, served as the impetus for the wind assessment programme.

Zimbabwe’s renewable energy capacity increased by a negligible 1,07 percent to 1222 megawatts (MW) in 2022 from 1209 MW in 2021, highlighting the ongoing development of the energy transition in the mix of power generation.

With the cost of oil and gas expected to stay high for the foreseeable future, countries that can generate their own energy from renewable sources would appear to be in an enviable position.

In an effort to diversify its energy mix and reach its 2030 carbon emission reduction objectives, Zimbabwe plans to use power generated from non-fossil sources.

By ETimes

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