Renewable energy is critical in the advancement of economic development, through improving energy security and access, and mitigating climate change. Sustainable development is achieved through the use of sustainable energy and by ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy. Just like most developing countries, Zimbabwe faces an energy supply deficit. The country has heavily relied on fossil-based fuels and this form of energy is unstainable in the face of climate change.
Research has indicated that climate change is one of the biggest challenges faced by humankind today and while its impacts are bad for everyone, they are worse for the vulnerable groups in society, particularly women and children. Current energy production and consumption methods in Zimbabwe continue to contribute to climate change, with the energy sector alone contributing an estimated 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in Zimbabwe. It is against this background that there has been calls for the country to promote the use of renewable energy. Zimbabwe’s renewable energy policy and regulations are set out in the National Energy Policy (NEP) of 2012 and the National Renewable Energy Policy (NREP) of 2019.
The NEP recognises the importance of developing a comprehensive renewable energy policy in order to enhance the contribution of renewable energy to the overall energy mix in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, the NREP sets out in detail the Government of Zimbabwe’s 10-year renewable energy generation targets through to 2030. The energy transition from fossil-based fuels, driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions, is central to Government’s commitment to policy changes in the energy sector towards renewables as set out in the NREP.
In line with the increased thrust on clean energy, the IDBZ has taken a deliberate position to play a more active role in efforts to increase electricity generation from renewables, through its own projects and also collaborating with Independent Power Producers (IPPs). In order to contribute to the increase in generation of renewable energy the Bank has identified three sites with the capacity to generate 67MW of clean energy. In addition, the Bank is working with a number of IPPs in the renewable energy space to ensure that citizens have access to clean, modern and affordable energy by 2030. Table 1 indicates current renewable energy projects which the Bank is involved in that are at different stages of development.
Table 1: Current Portfolio of IDBZ Energy Projects
|Project||Promoter||Capacity (MW)||Project Value (US$ million)||Location|
|Rufaro Farm Solar Project||IPP||50||75||Marondera|
|Osborne Dam Mini Hydro Project||IPP||1.7||5.51||Mutare|
|Odzani Mini Hydro Project||IPP||2.4||5.5||Mutasa|