Government sets ambitious renewable energy targets

Source: Government sets ambitious renewable energy targets | The Financial Gazette June 29, 2017

ZIMBABWE has set a 2030 target to increase renewable energy generation by almost 27 percent, as part of efforts to bolster sagging electricity output from its aged thermal and hydroelectric plants, according to a draft policy document seen by this newspaper.

The country currently generates about half of its peak electricity demand, often resulting in power cuts that have affected key economic sectors such as mining and manufacturing.

Government has licenced several renewal energy projects, which are yet to take off.
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development document, titled Renewable Energy Policy, will guide the development of the power sector until 2030.

It said clean energy generation is projected to increase by 26,6 percent to 4 640 gigawatts hour (GWh) in 2030, from the current capacity of 850 GWh.
The State run power producer, ZESA Holdings, operates the Kariba hydro and Hwange thermal power stations, in addition to smaller units around the country.
These have been failing to meet demand.

Although programmes are underway to improve output, the policy document said in the absence of investment in renewable energy, deficits would continue until 2030.
The plan said there would be a power supply deficit of 1 000 megawatts (MW) in 2025, which would rise to 1 600 MW in 2030.

“Based on intended nationally determined contribution target of achieving emissions 33 percent below the projected business-as-usual level, clean energy sources need to generate additional energy of around 2 400 GWh by 2025 and around 4 600 GWh by 2030,” the policy reads.
“The yearly generation targets from clean energy sources…have a lower gestation period compared to thermal and large hydro projects.”

The policy sets a target to develop additional 1 000 MW or 16 percent of total generation to meet electricity demand, whichever is higher, from renewable energy sources by 2025 and an additional 1 600 MW or 23 percent of overall generation to meet electricity demand, whichever is higher, from renewable energy sources by 2030.

“These targets are in line with the country’s SE4ALL action agenda report which has set a grid-connected renewable energy target of 700 MW to 1 100 MW over the next 10 to 15 years,” the document adds.
“To begin with, technology neutral targets shall be considered. This will promote competition between different technologies and will therefore help in development of least cost technology, leading to least or no impact on the consumer tariff.”

The deficits have affected the provision of electricity, especially in rural areas.
The draft policy said the country’s electrification rate was currently at 40 percent, with supplies reaching 83 percent of urban households, while only 13 percent of rural households have access to electricity.

It said Zimbabwe had installed capacity of about 2 000 MW, against actual available capacity of 1 350 MW.
This figure includes imports, according to the document.
The policy document said Zimbabwe would target production of 969 GWh of renewable energy next year, before it increases to 1 633 GWh in 2022 when the policy would be reviewed.