Zimbabwe: Where Renewable Energy Meets Opportunity
Zimbabwe’s energy sector is ripe for investment with strong domestic demand and abundant renewable resources.
Zimbabwe has significant potential as a location for renewable energy generation, in particular in solar and onshore wind.
Other renewable resources also have potential:
- Wind – 39GW.
- Hydro along the Zambezi river- 5GW.
- Internal hydro from smaller water bodies – 150MW.
- Geothermal – 50MW.
Image Source: World Bank Solar Atlas
Zimbabwe’s energy sector presents real opportunities for investment to service strong domestic demand.
Total installed capacity for generation of electricity from all sources is 2,600 MW, of which around 70% is currently thermal generation. However, on average actual generation is around 1,500 MW each year.
Demand for electricity is strong in Zimbabwe.
- The mining sector, accounts for 13% of GDP and has been growing strongly, with growth of 23% in Q2 of 2023. The mining sector is projected to require about 2,000MW by the year 2025.
- The agricultural sector represents around 12% of the GDP and is operating at 50% capacity presenting opportunities for increased demand.
- Total demand for power in Zimbabwe is estimated at 4,000 MW per annum providing real opportunities for investment into electricity generation.
Zimbabwe is also home to the Southern Africa Power Pool, SAPP, enabling access to regional energy markets in 13 Southern African (SADC) countries. This represents a regional market of over 340 million people and a regional economy valued at over $700Bn , and provides renewable investors in Zimbabwe with access to international off-takers.
The Government of Zimbabwe adopted a plan for renewable energy in 2019 which sets clear targets for renewable energy generation. By 2030, the Government is seeking at least 2,100 MW of renewable energy capacity (or 26.5% of total generation whichever is largest).
The policy vision is to provide energy access to all citizens in a sustainable manner by increasing the contribution of renewables in the country’s energy mix.
- To increase uptake of renewable energy
- Create a conducive environment for investment in the renewable energy space.
- To increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix
There are many ways investors can participate in the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe.
- As new Independent Power Producers (IPPs), developing and operating new renewable energy plants for solar, wind or hydro.
- As investors into a range of existing IPPs in Zimbabwe who have consented schemes looking for financial partners to reach financial closure.
- Through Public Private Partnerships
…with multiple routes to market
IPPs in Zimbabwe have a range of options available to them as they sell renewable energy to off-takers.
- Selling power to ZETDC, the Zimbabwean Utility company
- Engaging with SAPP to access regional energy markets in Southern Africa
- Working with Zimbabwe’s Intensive Energy Users, a group of over 100 major firms, typically operating in the mining and manufacturing sectors, who have a forecast demand of 4,000 MW of power by 2030.
The Government’s National Renewable Energy Policy provides incentives.
- Tax holidays for BOT and BOOT deals
- 100% repatriation of profits
- Duty-free importation of selected Renewable Energy Technologies
- Duty-free importation of energy-generating equipment
- Guarantees for non-expropriation.
The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) is your dedicated partner throughout your mining investment journey. Our experienced team provides invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and industry insights to empower your success. ZIDA’s One Stop Information Services Centre (OSISC) facilitates onboarding, establishment, and aftercare for both domestic and foreign investors. ZIDA will handhold the investor through the process of securing the necessary licenses and permits for IPPs. Details on the steps that an investor would follow as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) can be found here.