Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima has revealed Zimbabwe is in the process of developing fiscal incentives for solar-powered vehicles, batteries and other related accessories.Minister Mavima said in Zimbabwe, the private sector is actively involved in the promotion of the green economy, in line with SDG 7.3 which seeks to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
Mavima made the remarks during a virtual address of the 4th Africa Day, High Level Political Forum running under the theme ‘The Green Recovery: Renewable energy, digitalisation and nature-based solutions for inclusion and resilience in Africa.’
Minister Mavima said the liberalisation of the electricity market has resulted in the Government granting power generation licences to a number of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to encourage investments by private players.
“Zimbabwe at present is mainly dependent on petroleum, coal, hydroelectric power and fuel-wood to meet its energy needs.
“More than 60 percent of our population still rely on solid biomass fuel for thermal needs and have no access to clean energy sources yet our country has vast renewable energy resources such as solar, hydro, biomass and to a limited extent wind and geothermal, that to date have largely remained unexploited,” said Minister Mavima.
“A number of programmes have been implemented to promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies such as National Energy Policy (2012), Sustainable Energy for All Programme, The National Biogas Programme, Rural Electrification (using solar mini-grids) and Climate Policy (2017) among others.
“The country is in the process of developing fiscal incentives for solar powered vehicles and has incentives in place for solar batteries and other related accessories.
“The liberalisation of the electricity market has resulted in the Government granting power generation licences to a number of IPPs in an effort to encourage new investments especially by private investors in the sector,” said Minister Mavima.
He said the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) installed 525 mini-grid systems at rural institutions like schools and clinics and each system has a capacity of 0.84kW giving a total of 441kW.
Minister Mavima said during the fiscal year 2019-2020, 100km of transmission lines were installed and 210km of distribution lines were installed.
“As of 31 July 2019, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) had issued more than 77 power generation licences with 42 being solar power projects.
“These initiatives are aimed at improving the share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix and addressing issues of climate change, enhanced social welfare through community development, gender equality and employment promotion,” he said.
Minister Mavima said the National Renewable Energy Policy launched by the Government in 2019 is aimed at increasing access to clean and affordable energy.
“The Policy sets overall targets for renewable energy in the country based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as one of its primary objectives in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“Under this policy, the country targets to improve the installed capacity of renewable energy excluding large scale hydropower from the current 5 percent to 27 percent by the year 2030,” said Minister Mavima.
Minister Mavima further added the Confederation of Zimbabwean Industries (CZI) has coordinated an energy efficiency award which is meant to promote more efficient use of energy.
“CZI also has a clean and green Initiative which is meant to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices at enterprises level, and this includes the use of clean energy.
“A number of businesses across all economic sectors are proactively investing in renewable energy which is consistent with SDG 7.2, which seeks to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix,” said Minister Mavima. He said the main challenges to the agenda of renewable energy production was resources, encouraging public private partnerships in this regard.
“I would like to encourage fellow African countries not only to prioritise the promotion of renewable energy but also to harness the advantages brought about by digitalisation as we build forward better in this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister Mavima.