Renewable Energy Can Renew Zimbabwe’s Economy
In 2016, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development revealed in a meeting with business leaders that the demand for energy in Zimbabwe has decreased by 40% within the last decade. This could have meant one of two things. Either there had been an increase in power or, more worrying, a decrease in the production of goods. However, we know that there has not been an increase in power within the last decade. In fact, Zimbabwe has had to import power from neighbouring countries and approximately 60% of the country is not connected to the national grid, so we can safely assume that there had been a decrease in manufacturing instead. The people of Zimbabwe aim to re-establish their country as a powerhouse through economic revival and in order to do this, we have to look at where we are and plan accordingly to reach a clear goal.
Zimbabwe’s Current Situation
Zimbabwe has a combined installed capacity of 1,920MW. However, the country is currently only able to generate an average of 1,000MW. Traditional means of generating electricity is clearly limiting, and not only because fossil fuels are limited. Importing power costs money that could have been spent on health care and education, which means that self-sustaining energy generation is a must for true economic revival.
The 2017 Manufacturing Survey released by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, which gathers data from Zimbabwe’s largest manufacturers, indicated high power charges, currently at 12,8Kwh, and cited an erratic electricity supply as a key factor attributing to the high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe. According to the World Energy Report, electricity accounts for around 20% of final energy use in manufacturing, but in Zimbabwe, the cost of power accounts for at least 5% of manufacturers’ cumulative production costs. This makes Zimbabwean goods more expensive in the region. The energy use rises in heavy industries such as iron and steel and chemical manufacturing, both of which happen to be two major areas in which Zimbabwe wants to increase production.
How Could Solar Power Pave The Way For Economic Freedom?
According to this report on the energy sector, Zimbabwe can harness solar energy at an average of 2000KW per hour per square kilometre, per annum, spread roughly over 3000 hours. With installations covering 1.3% of Zimbabwe’s total land surface, this would meet the current total electrical energy consumption of 10,000Gwh with an efficiency of 10%. Once the demand is met by energy generated within Zimbabwe, the need to import energy at a great cost will fall away.
What Is Currently Happening To Grow Renewable Energy In Zimbabwe?
The current global trend is to reverse climate change by switching to renewable energy. To assist this switch in Zimbabwe, projects involving energy generation have been exempt from corporate tax obligations for five years since the 1st of January 2018. Also, a renewable energy policy has been drafted with the intent of increasing energy generation by up to 30% over the course of 12 years. These are exciting times for the people of Zimbabwe and we at DPA are equally excited to be a part of this economic revival. We offer organisations the opportunity to become a powerhouse with our zero start-up cost opportunity, thereby removing finances as a stumbling block for this monumental switch.
In the long run, we want to see Zimbabwe reach a point where we don’t import electricity anymore. Instead, we want to see a Zimbabwe with surplus energy, able to export to other countries and thus once again regain her status as the “Breadbasket of Africa.” Get in touch with DPA if you want to switch your business to solar power and ask specifically for our zero start-up cost option.
Source: “Renewable Energy Is The Answer To Economic Revival,” The Financial Gazette, 15 February 2018