The Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Dr Samuel Undenge has revealed that Zimbabwe, which is currently facing challenges in producing the amount of energy needed in the country; has got the potential to supply 10,000 gigawatt hours of energy per year in renewable resources. Undenge raised this at the ‘Draft Renewable Energy Policy Validation Workshop in Harare yesterday.
According to the Financial Gazette, ZESA’s generation capacity, was only 845 MW, as at February 17, 2016, against a projected demand of 2 200 MW, resulting in a deficit of 1 355 MW or 62% deficit.
“Our country, Zimbabwe, is blessed with numerous renewable energy resources that, if well harnessed, can supply 10,000 gigawatt hours of energy of energy per year.” said the Minister.
Zimbabwe is currently importing energy from South Africa and Mozambique to supplement the energy needed in the country according to the Energy and Power Development permanent secretary, Patson Mbiriri.
Undenge also said that his Ministry has to make an effort to ensure that Zimbabweans have access to energy.
“Around 60%of this country’s population is still not connected to the National Electricity Grid and this deprives the majority of the population from using gadgets like refrigerators, electric stoves and television sets.” the minister said.
In 2015, the NGO – Hivos, stated that 66.8% of the population was using firewood as a source of energy, a major concern over its contribution to deforestation in the country. Meanwhile, Mbiriri blamed Zimbabwe’s failure to produce the required energy on increasing demands and unprecedented facility.
Zimbabwe has in the past met a lot of challenges in the production of Electric Energy, resulting in power outages and increased load shedding. Industries in Zimbabwe have also blamed power outages and load shedding for low production.
The workshop was also attended by the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan province, Mirriam Chikukwa.