Local players feel disenchanted by the government’s slow pace in empowering them to get involved in building the economy.
These sentiments were made clear in a telephone interview by technomag to one of its sources.In general the track record of Sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector is dismal. Two out of three households in Sub-Saharan Africa, close to 600 million people, have no electricity connection. Most countries in the region have pitifully low access rates, including rural areas that are the world’s most underserved. In some countries, less than 5 percent of the rural population has access to electricity. Chronic power shortages are a primary reason.
Toneo Rutsito investigated for Technomag in his interview as Editor in Chief with a source that layed bare the facts arguing
”Takanyora(we wrote)a joint letter muna(in) october..i can even give you the proof and actual dates, takawirirana(we agreed) currency ye 8.9 cents per kw/h October last year it went to ZERA up to now ZERA has approved…
The region simply does not generate enough electricity. The Republic of Korea alone generates as much electricity as all of Sub-Saharan Africa. Across the region, per capita installed generation capacity is barely one-tenth that of Latin America. The need for large investments in power generation capacity is obvious, especially in the face of robust economic growth on the continent, which has been the key driver of electricity demand over the last decade.
Mr Rutsito further got his interviewee to release more information that is not making the country move foward when his interviewee said”Its now about 6 months to negotiate the tariff and another 6 months just to get the IPP signed ,… Mutsvangwa said cabinet approved kuti munu wese anoita ma renewable energy automatically should get national project status then wopihwa governmnet guarantee , i applied for all those in october last year hendina kana chinu kana kuziva kuti zviripi…”
The International Energy Agency predicts that the demand for electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase at a compound average annual growth rate of 4.6 percent, and by 2030 it will be more than double the current electricity production. The World Bank estimated in 2011 that Sub-Saharan Africa needed to add approximately 8 gigawatts (GW) of new generation capacity each year through 2015 (Eberhard and others 2011). But, in fact, over the last decade an average of only 1–2 GW has been added annually.
It is against this background that the Zimbabwean government must be seen to be supporting local players to play a pivotal role in IPP’s but alas Zimbabwe would rather import electricity than let local players do business in making provision.
Something is very wrong and cry my beloved Zimbabwe what is the Minister of Energy up to.one Fortune Chasi did his best and was fired for doing things right.Now Zimbabwe ENERGY regulatory Authority once headed by the all powerful Engineer Gloria Magorimbo now Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Energy and Power Development seems to be singing from the same hymn book that does not recognise locals as answers to our power challenges.
The cost of addressing the needs of Sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector has been estimated at US$40.8 billion a year, which is equivalent to 6.35 percent of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). The existing funding is far below what is needed. This large funding gap cannot be bridged by the public sector alone. Private participation is critical hence the need for Zimbabwe to have a clear social contract with all local IPP players so they contribute to the national grid.
Historically, most private sector financing has been channeled through independent power projects (IPPs). IPPs are defined as power projects that mainly are privately developed, constructed, operated, and owned; have a significant proportion of private finance; and have long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a utility or another off-taker. Like any other private investment, IPPs will not materialize in the absence of a suitable enabling environment.
Government has so far licensed 80 independent power producers (IPPs) projects who could add a total of 7 000 megawatts to the national grid, more than three times the national requirement.
The country has been grappling with power shortages as it depends mainly on Hwange thermal and Kariba hydropower electric power stations.
Demand, however, is below 2 000MW due to lower demand and also low wastage after Zesa switched to a prepaid model.
IPPs are currently only feeding 135,8 megawatts into the national grid, about a decade since government started granting private players licences to produce electricity, according to a report released by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development.
A number of solar projects have failed to take off in the country due to lack of funding and corruption.
In a live Teleinterview with Technomag’s Editor in Chief Toneo Rutsito the reliable source is qouted as frustrated saying
“thats the frustration that each and every IPP has in this country hakuna bepa rinobuda…”
” they have only been given a small piece of paper which is meaningless , haina anything….”
” for us to make money the project must be backable with all required papers”
Technomag’s source warned the IPPs awarded the licences to execute their projects to avoid having their licences revoked.
Clearly government does not have a clear policy on projects thereby denying employment to a number of youths who would benefit from these IPP’s if ever they were supported.