Sydney Gata, the executive chairwoman of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), has slammed Finance Ministry secretary George Guvamatanga for refusing to guarantee IPPs’ accords and unlock their financing for the construction of solar power plants.
The agreements have the potential to generate 300 megawatts of electricity, which would go a long way toward alleviating the country’s present power crisis, which has severely hampered corporate and industrial activities. The energy crisis has also put a strain on the general public, affecting their standard of living.
Gata claimed the Solar Power Plant IPPs were failing to take off because Guvamatanga, as Finance Ministry secretary, was taking too long to guarantee the projects, which would release much-needed finance, during a visit of the Hwange Power Plant on Monday.
Last year, the government approved hundreds of IPPs, but they all required the Finance Ministry to give the requisite guarantee.
Solar Power Plant IPPs are an important element of the country’s answer to its severe energy shortages, but they require investor-friendly policies, which Gata claims Guvamatanga has failed to provide.
Zimbabwe’s energy supply is still insecure, and the government is reliant on imports to make up the difference. Due to insufficient generation capacity, just 40% of the country’s homes have access to electricity, with 83% in urban regions and the rest in rural areas.
Guvamatanga has been under fire in recent weeks for holding an expensive 50th birthday celebration in Harare, which included bringing in well-known South African artists and spending a huge quantity of money.
Zimbabwe plans to add about 2 000 MW to its national grid by 2030, primarily from renewable and cleaner sources, including solar, wind, and other sources.
Among all government-approved independent power producer projects, solar is the most prevalent energy source. The country’s largest solar power plant under construction is a 25 MW solar facility in Matabeleland North province.