In Zimbabwe, the struggle with power outages persists, lasting up to a staggering 20 hours. To combat this energy crisis, families are turning to solar power and charcoal as alternatives. Unfortunately, it seems this challenging situation will continue until at least 2025. The impact of these power cuts is particularly harsh on big businesses, adding to the strain of an already difficult situation.

By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe finds itself once more in the clutches of 20-hour power outages, with no relief in sight until at least 2025.

When the clock strikes midnight, a flurry of activity erupts across the country as people seize the precious moments of electricity to cook, iron their clothes, or fetch water amidst the relentless power outages.

The country currently experiences a deficit in electricity generation capacity, with peak demand reaching 1,850MW while the combined output from the country’s three power generation plants, namely the Hwange Thermal Power Station and the Kariba Hydrothermal Power Station, falls below 1,200MW. The Hwange Thermal Power Station produces 674MW, while the Kariba Hydrothermal Power Station generates 500MW.

The country’s Minister of Energy and Power Development, Edgar Moyo, has promised that the frequency of power outages, also known as load shedding, will decrease starting at the end of November.

In a response to a parliamentary question, Moyo expressed concern about the power generation situation in Kariba, stating that the facility, which typically produces 1,050MW, is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity of 250-300MW (ZESA reported 500MW).

”We are going to begin to experience reduced load shedding at the end of November when Unit 7 comes on board. However, on complete load shedding, at the moment I cannot give a timeline because we are working on repowering Units 1 to 6 and each time we are repowering these units, we are going to be taking one unit out at a time.

“Once it is repaired, we take another unit. It is going to take a little bit of time, but we are banking mainly on independent power producers that I have said are currently projects that are ongoing up to about 600 megawatts.

“I cannot give that timetable, but we are working towards that. In terms of power import, we expect to eliminate that by 2025. That is how I can respond,” said Moyo.

The government has projected that the country’s energy demand will reach approximately 3,500MW by 2025. To meet this target, the government aims to combine fossil fuel and renewable energy initiatives, with a primary focus on involvement from the private sector.

Speaking to the press, Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, announced that the government plans to adopt private sector-driven coal mining projects and innovative technologies in the foreseeable future.

“In the medium to long term, the government will embrace private sector-led coal mining initiatives and new technologies such as green hydrogen, floating solar panels, battery energy storage systems, and funding some of the renewable energy projects dotted around the country to increase domestic generation of electricity,” said Muswere.

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