Zimbabwe Faces Looming Power Deficit

Zimbabwe is gearing up to confront a significant power supply deficit that could reach up to 2,800 megawatts (MW) by the close of 2025, warned Energy Minister Edgar Moyo at an investor conference in Barcelona.

Currently, the country grapples with a shortfall of 500MW largely due to escalating demands from mining and smelting industries.

Speaking at the plenary session, Minister Moyo highlighted that only 23.4% of rural households are currently connected to the national electricity grid, underscoring the urgent need for investment in energy infrastructure and capacity building.

He emphasized Zimbabwe’s appeal as a promising investment destination in energy generation, transmission, and distribution.

Moyo detailed ongoing initiatives, including solar mini-grid projects targeting public institutions such as schools and clinics, aimed at integrating productive use schemes like gardening and welding.

These efforts, supported by developmental partners and the private sector, are part of broader measures to alleviate energy poverty in rural areas. The government has introduced the Government Project Support Agreement (GPSA), bolstered by the Africa Legal Support Facility, to mitigate political and currency risks for potential investors.

Minister Moyo assured that despite economic challenges, Zimbabwe’s new currency has stabilized, and power purchase agreements remain denominated in US dollars to ensure a conducive investment environment.

Furthermore, Zimbabwe offers incentives such as duty-free imports of capital equipment, tax breaks, and prescribed asset status, all designed to attract investments with significant local content. Minister Moyo reiterated the country’s readiness to engage international developers and funders under the auspices of the GPSA, currently piloted with three companies.

As Zimbabwe anticipates a surge in electricity demand driven by industrial activities, the government’s proactive stance seeks to not only meet these growing needs but also position the country as a hub for sustainable energy investment in Southern Africa.

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