The Ministry of Energy and Power Development (MoEPD) together with the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry recently hosted a Renewable Energy Summit in Harare. The summit discussed the state of the energy sector in Zimbabwe and key climate policy updates.Presentations on the energy sector were shared by representatives from both the private and public sectors.
Dr Gloria Magombo, the Permanent Secretary in the MoEPD shared the steps which have been taken in the integration of Renewable Energy within the nation’s Energy power mix. The work being done includes the ongoing development of a competitive procurement framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the identification of land by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) for the development of 500MW of solar parks. Projects such as the Batoka Power Project were also highlighted for their potential to create 20 000 jobs in the renewable sectors in both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Zimbabwe's current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which are in the process of being revised, are looking to significantly reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions per capita by 2030. Mr Lawrence Mashungu, the Mitigation Expert in the Climate Change Management Department indicted that a reduction in carbon emissions can be achieved with the increased use of renewable energy. This was also identified as a key action in the Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS). He further stated that the construction of large hydro projects, increased usage of energy efficient lighting and the enforcement of Minimum Energy Performance Standards would help reduce the impacts of climate change.
The Zimbabwean private sector has also embraced renewable energy usage in their operations with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) investing in a 191 Kilo-Watt solar system which is feeding excess power to the grid whilst waiting for their net metering application. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has also installed a 40 Kilo-volt-amperes (kVA) system to power their entire premises and are anticipating a US$ 42 000 reduction in their electric bill.
UNDP through its global Climate Promise initiative provided support to the Renewable Energy Summit as a first step in the enhancement of the NDC and climate action across government and society. This initiative will also help advance equality, tackle poverty and strengthen social and environmental sustainability. Mr Jeremiah Mushosho the UNDP Climate Change Program Analyst reiterated the organizations commitment to “……support the nation in the implementation and enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)”. He also articulated several steps being taken to promote sustainable climate financing in the transport sector such as the promotion of private sector financing.
A Renewable Energy Investment Summit is scheduled to take place later in the year with a focus on major global developments and investments in the field of renewable energy; and linkages between renewable energy and economic development. The summit will take place in preparation for the roll out of the 2021 National Development Strategy (NDS).