Zimbabwe’s power supply situation improves significantly

By ZBC Reporter
PRODUCTIVE sectors have acknowledged stability and improvement in power supply in the country. Power supply interventions by government are yielding positive results, with industry acknowledging improved operational efficiency.
With estimates indicating that in the past erratic power supplies cost the economy over 400 million United States dollars annually in lost output across all economic sectors, government introduced a raft of reforms to meet the deficit.
The reforms include a dedicated power import payment plan which has seen a remarkable improvement in production in almost all sectors.
“There is a marked improvement in terms of power supply compared to what was happening last year and all production processes are smoothly flowing,” said Renias Zireva of Steel Brands.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union President, Paul Zakaria said reliable electricity supply is expected to boost this year’s wheat output.
“Our farmers have put more land under wheat production and this is due to the assurances they got that power supply will be sustained, and this is what has happened,” said Dr Paul Zakaria, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union President
Of late, the government has commissioned several renewable energy projects to broaden the country’s energy mix and with generation at Kariba Hydropower Station having resumed, the economy will be rejuvenated in the post-Covid-19 era.
Government is pursuing long term measures to ensure continuous improvement of the country’s power situation.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Advocate Fortune Chasi said the government is working on a longterm plan to ensure continuous improvement of power supply, with the situation on the ground showing a massive reduction in load-shedding.
In 2019, Government approved renewable energy and biofuels policies, which seek to speed up the adoption of renewable energies by opening up the energy space to private players.
To date over, 10 IPPs are operating in the renewable energy sector. Five other small solar power plants expected to feed an additional 14MW into the national grid are under construction.
Private companies and individuals have installed rooftop systems at their properties as a result of the new policy regime.
Available electricity from renewable energy is about 135MW, which is fed into the national grid, representing about 6 percent to the total electricity mix in Zimbabwe, excluding large-scale hydropower from Kariba.
The IPP Centragrid, recently indicated that it will increase its installed solar power capacity in Zimbabwe by October 2021. It plans to build new solar power plants that will inject 25 MWp into the Zimbabwean power grid.
Most of the electricity fed into Zimbabwe’s electricity grid is generated from the Kariba hydropower plant, which the country shares with Zambia.
Zimbabwe also imports electricity from the region.