Civil Society Submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development for the 2019 National Budget

Access to energy is fundamental to improving the quality of life and is a key imperative for attaining an upper middle income economy by the year 2030. Lack of access to energy services dramatically undermines all productive sector of the economy. Energy is not a need but it is an enabler of all sectors of development. Having modern energy unlocks access to improved healthcare, improved education, and improved economic opportunities and, even a longer life, while to those that do not have energy, it is a major constraint on their social and economic development. According to World Bank 2017, Zimbabwe’s solar PV has a technical potential of over 300 MW which is yet to be exploited. The gross theoretical hydropower potential for Zimbabwe is 18,500 GWh/year. The technically feasible potential is 17,500 GWh/year for hydro, of which 19% has been exploited. Full exploitation of vast renewable energy resources we have in Zimbabwe like solar, wind, hydro and biomass, can sustainably develop our country.

Efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in supporting development of renewable energy since Independence are commendable. We are mindful of a number of programmes implemented to promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies such as National Energy Policy, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff (REFiT), Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), Climate Change Policy and others. Nevertheless, access to electricity in the urban areas of Zimbabwe has been stagnant at around 85% since 1990 while in rural areas it doubled from around 8% to 16%. This is be attributed to the rural electrification programme.

Source: ZERO (Regional Environment Organisation)

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