Zimbabwe's Renewable Energy Resources Vastly Unexploited - Minister Soda
The Minister of Energy and Power Development Zhemu Soda last week said Zimbabwe has vast unexploited energy resources, both renewable and unrenewable, that offer significant opportunities for investors, reported NewsDay.
The renewables include solar, wind, hydro, and biomass, while non-renewables are coal, coalbed methane and potential oil and gas.
Addressing delegates at the fourth International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo 2023 held in Victoria Falls last week, Soda said:
Solar potential is 16 to 20 megajoules per square meter per day, which is vastly unexploited and is present in several regions of the country.
By end of 2022, Zimbabwe had grid-connected installed solar capacity of only 40 megawatts, mainly 24 megawatts from the independent power producers (IPPs) and the balance for own consumption is now being connected through the net metering facilities.
That is short of the potential of over 100 gigawatts as per the renewable energy policy instruments.
Through partnerships with the World Bank, five out of 17 sites have three feasibility studies done with a total capacity of 370 megawatts in preparation for competitive procurement.
He said small hydropower projects can be undertaken in the Eastern Highlands region and on perennial rivers and most inland dams. Added Soda:
These are small projects we can develop using our resources if we can work together.
On a larger scale, we have over 5 000 megawatts of large hydro potential along the Zambezi River basin which doubles between Victoria Falls and the Indian Ocean, including sites in Mozambique.
Soda also said the country has a total potential of 1 000 megawatts from biomass in the form of agricultural and municipal waste, forest residue and other forms.
Zimbabwe has unharnessed geothermal energy potential of around 50 megawatts, said Soda.
More: Pindula News