A cocktail of strategic interventions is required to mitigate Zimbabwe’s power deficit in the long term.
Experts contend mega investments are required in renewable energy, particularly solar while incentives should be provided for independent power producers.
News that 16 power projects with a potential of generating 6 000 megawatts of power are under constructions casts a positive outlook on the economic revival in sectors such as agriculture, mining and the manufacturing industry.
While it is commendable Zimbabwe must also start seriously considering alternative sources of energy such as solar and mini hydro power stations despite the large investments needed to kick-start such programmes.
Action 24 programmes co-ordinator Mr Archieford Chemhere believes abundant sunshine has not been fully exploited on the back of a feed in tariff of around 9 cents that makes solar energy provision very profitable.
Economic analyst Dr Mthokozisi Nkosi said existence of independent power producers testify to the importance of exploring public private partnerships but this should be supported by an attractive and sustainable power tariff pricing.
On the contrary there are no incentives for investing in solar, like free access to land notes energy experts, while statutory bodies like the environmental management energy agency stipulated requirement such as demand for charges like 1.5 percent of project cost upfront scare away investors.
Government last year introduced the 200 megawatts Dema diesel emergency power plant to boost local generation but this has been insufficient to plug imports from Mozambique and South Africa.
With the country having embarked on an industrialisation agenda that will see Kwekwe Zisco Steel one of the country’s major power consumers up while agriculture is set for an increased production the clarion call is for power producers to provide energy to keep the wheels of the economy turning.