Zimbabwe: Energy Resources
|Energy Consumption||0.16 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||ZW|
|3-letter ISO code||ZWE|
|Numeric ISO code||716|
|UN Region||Eastern Africa|
|Energy Maps||0 view|
|Energy Organizations||0 view|
|Research Institutions||0 view|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
|Wind Potential||0||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||209||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||553.36||Million Short Tons||34||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||0||Cubic Meters (cu m)||117||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||0||Barrels (bbl)||104||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring Zimbabwe
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Access to electricity is estimated nationally at nearly 40%, with urban access standing at nearly 80%, but access to electricity in the rural areas of the country is much lower, at about 19%, due to prohibitive costs of extending national electricity grids.
The Department of Energy formulates, implements, monitors and reviews the energy policies; gathers and disseminates energy related information, and prepares energy related plans and strategy. Zambia and Zimbabwe are planning the construction of the long-awaited Batoka Gorge hydropower station, located about 50km downstream of the Victoria Falls between the two countries. When operational, the US$2.4 billion plant will have the capacity to produce up to 1,600 MW. The country’s Electricity System Development Plan lists several key projects in the generation and transmission/distribution sectors for further investment and development. These include: the installation of 2x300 MW generators at Hwange coal station to increase capacity, and development of the coal mine at the facility; the addition of 2x150 MW units to the Kariba hydroelectric station; and the continued development of the nation’s transmission infrastructure, including the improvement of the Hwange coal plant’s infrastructure via uprating, the addition of static VAR compensators (SVCs) at substations in the Central region, and the construction of a new 330 kV line from Alaska to Sherwood in the country. ZESA is also seeking IPP bids for the construction of the 1,400 MW Gokwe North coal station on the Sengwa coal field, and its associated transmission infrastructure. The 1.1 MW Nyamingura mini-hydro plant was commissioned in August 2010, after the initial licensing agreement in 2005. The plant is operated by Nyangani Renewable Energy (Pvt) Ltd., and all generated power is sold to the ZETDC under a power purchase agreement at a tariff of US$0.16/kWh. The company has also been issued a license for the construction of a further 18 MW of capacity in the area.
Plans are at an advanced stage to introduce a sector-wide Energy Regulatory Commission with an overall mandate across all energy sub-sectors. The government has set a target of boosting the electrification rate to 85% by 2020. To achieve this goal, ZESA Holdings have outlined plans to build another coal fired power plant with a capacity of 1,400 MW, expand capacity at the Hwange coal fired station by 600MW, and add 300MW to the Kariba hydro power plant. However, ZESA Holdings do not have the resources to pay for these projects. In an effort to boost international awareness and attract potential funding sources, an international energy and power conference and exhibition was held in September 2011 in Harare, organised by the Southern African Power Pool, CopperBelt Energy, and other interested parties. However, it is unclear as to whether funding has been acquired for any of the specified projects.
Total installed electricity capacity (2008): 1,990 MW Hydro: 57%Thermal: 43% Total primary energy supply (2009): 9,514 ktoeBiomass: 65.5%Coal: 19.4%Petroleum Products: 6.4%Electricity Imports: 4.9%Hydro: 3.8% In rural Zimbabwe, 80-90% of people are heavily dependent on wood fuel, light their homes with kerosene, and carry out essential food processing tasks, such as milling grain, using diesel-powered systems. Total electricity generation in 2009 stood at 7,900 GWh, of which 53.3%, or 4,303 GWh, was produced from renewable sources. Electricity consumption per capita in 2009 stood at 1,022 kWh.
ZERC has the authority to fully and independently regulate the industry, and no entity can generate, transmit or distribute, nor import electricity, even for its own consumption, without permission from ZERC. This permission is granted in the form of a licence that stipulates strict rules of operation, which have to be adhered to by the licensee. The Commission is the only legal authority that can approve a tariff increase. Other tasks of the Commission include the production of codes and standards for the sector, the promotion of competition and private sector participation where feasible, establishing appropriate consumer rights and obligations in the sector, and the promotion of energy efficiency in the supply side through consumer advice and the issuing of guidelines.
In accordance with government policy to embark on reforms in the electricity sector, a new Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) was enacted in 2002, bringing about the restructuring and unbundling of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) from a vertically integrated utility into separate successor companies, focusing on generation, transmission & distribution and service companies. Reforms were meant to encourage private participation (IPPs); however, ZESA Holdings and their subsidiaries still dominate the sector. A few small private generators operate, either providing stand-alone systems in remote communities, or back-up systems by large urban companies in some schools and hospitals. These reforms have also lead to the creation of an independent, dedicated rural electrification authority, and the establishment of a regulator for the electricity sector. NOCZIM is the sole operator in the petroleum sector of the country and is a state-owned institution, fully integrated in its activities.
Through the draft national energy policy, the government plans to ensure efficient utilization of energy resources. The International Energy Initiative has previously run programs to promote the efficient use of energy, most notably the Zimbabwe Energy Efficiency Project (ZEEP). Under ZEEP, industrial efficiency has been increased and efforts were undertaken to produce government standards for efficient appliances and equipment, for example, lighting, water heaters and refrigerators. Transmission and distribution losses in the country are considerably lower than in many African nations, standing at approximately 11%. Demand-side efficiency could be further encouraged in the country, as electricity tariffs remain amongst the lowest in Africa, at roughly US$ 0.06/kWh, due to heavy subsidies. The low non-technical losses in the transmission and distribution system have been attributed to the exceptionally low power tariffs. Primary energy consumption per capita in 2009 stood at 0.76 toe. The residential sector contributed 73.5% of the total energy consumption in the country that year, including the vast majority of the nation's biomass (~93%).
No major new developments have occurred in the generation sector of the country since the commissioning of the Hwange coal plant in 1988, and currently, it is estimated that only 60% of the country’s installed capacity is available. The former national utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), was often in debt to power suppliers in electricity-exporting countries, for instance, a debt of US$417 million to the Mozambican supplier Hidro-electrica Cahora Bassa, in mid-2008. Other problems have affected the electricity sector, including:Net losses of US$270 million in 2003, US$428 million in 2004 and US$418 million in 2005 for ZESA,Vandalisation and theft of equipment such as transformers and cables, shortage of spares, which continues unabated, and was estimated to cost US$ 400,000/month during 2009,Controlled pricing of domestic electricity, limited cost recovery and insufficient billing/collection efficiency (estimated at 60% cost recovery in 2009),High levels of resource subsidy, particularly from the Hwange Colliery Company for operation of the Hwange plant, andThe exodus of trained and experienced staff to neighbouring and overseas countries. By 2008, frequent power shortages had affected industrial and domestic use. There has been significant under-utilisation of capacity in manufacturing, mining and agriculture as a result, and power outages continue to affect the economic performance of industries and services. Total outages were estimated at 15 days in 2009.
The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) carries out research and development in renewable energy and energy conservation. The Forestry Commission is active in the area of woody biomass as their mandate covers all state forests, which are a major source of fuel wood. The University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Chinhoyi University of Technology run programs in renewable energy. The Harare Polytechnic has done some trials on Jatropha Curcas and biodiesel. Local and Rural District Councils under the Ministry of Local Government provide area-based planning at the levels of districts and provinces.
Electricity marketThe sector is primarily controlled by the state-owned company, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings (ZESA Holdings, www.zesa.co.zw), which, through its subsidiaries Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), generate, import and distribute all electrical energy in the country. Liquid fuels marketThe National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM, www.noczim.co.zw) is the state-owned oil company responsible for procurement, storage and bulk distribution of petroleum products to oil marketing companies.
Degree of independence
The President appoints the commissioners of ZERC. The Commission is funded from licence fees and levies imposed on licensees in the generation, transmission and distribution business.
A study on Energy for Rural Development in Zimbabwe was undertaken by the Beijer Institute in the 1988. Various studies have been carried out to determine the barriers to cleaner energy technologies in Zimbabwe. In addition, there are research studies under way to try sweet sorghum as a replacement of sugar cane in co-generation. In 2004, the Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa (AFREPREN/FWD), commissioned a study on The Regulation of the Power Sector in Africa which covered Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi. Zimbabwe is also a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and actively participates in the Southern African Power Pool (www.sapp.co.zw), an organisation with the primary aim of providing reliable and economical electricity services to the consumers of each of the SAPP members, consistent with reasonable utilisation of natural resources and the minimisation of environmental impacts. Zimbabwe holds significant potential as a power transit country from Southern Africa to the rest of the continent, in particular the DRC and its significant hydropower resources. Assuming trade expansion, and corresponding expansion of interconnection capacities, an estimated 20 TWh could be routed through Zimbabwe annually
A draft policy energy framework was created in 2008. The objectives of the Energy Policy are:to ensure accelerated economic developmentto facilitate rural developmentto promote small-medium scale enterprisesto ensure environmentally friendly energy development, andto ensure efficient utilisation of energy resources. The Electricity Act of 2002 led to the unbundling of ZESA into separate generation, transmission, distribution and supply units, and provided mechanisms for the introduction of IPPs into the power sector. Cost-reflective tariffs for the electricity sector were conceptualised in 2004, and are currently beginning to be implemented. The Ministry of Energy and Power Development is still developing a Renewable Energy Policy. This is being addressed through a number of initiatives. The Electricity Regulatory Bill, currently awaiting Presidential signature, specifically provides for “the identification and promotion of the employment and development of sources of renewable energy”. In addition, under the Rural Electrification Fund Act, the country’s Rural Electrification Authority has the responsibility to deploy sustainable energy solutions where appropriate.
In recent years as various Zimbabwean facilities have gone off-line partially or in full, much of the country's electric power (30%) has come from Mozambique, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries in the region. Electricity imports in 2009 amounted to 473 ktoe, or 5,497 GWh. Zimbabwe has no indigenous sources of oil and natural gas. Oil product imports in 2009 were estimated at 13,140 bbl/day, with consumption being approximately equal. There is no oil refinery. As a result all refined petroleum products, including gasoline are imported. Fuel import spending in 2009 stood at US$ 454 million, or 15.7% of total import expenditure. There are large deposits of coal but the Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), the major coal company that is 38% owned by the government, does not have the financial resources to significantly boost output. The company provides coal to the Hwange Thermal Power Plant, the largest thermal facility in the country. It has a capacity of roughly 750 MW, but is only producing 220 MW of power.
Role of the government
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development (www.energy.gov.zw) has overall responsibility for energy issues in Zimbabwe. The terms of reference include policy formulation, performance monitoring and regulation of the energy sector as well as research, development and promotion of new and renewable sources of energy. The Ministry supervises and oversees the performance of the energy parastatals, ZESA Holdings and NOCZIM. The Rural Electrification Fund Act (13:20) created a Rural Electrification Agency (REA, www.rea.co.zw) that has the mandate for the total electrification of all rural areas, funded by electrification levies and government stipends. The main functions of the agency are the planning of projects, the raising and accounting of rural electrification funds, and the monitoring of project implementation.
The legislation that governs the electricity supply industry in Zimbabwe is the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) and Rural Electrification Fund Act (Chapter 13:20) of 2002. The Electricity Act created ZERC and provided the legal framework for the unbundling of the state-owned utility, ZESA.
While Zimbabwe has set up a regulatory authority, it is not fully independent from state control, especially in determining tariffs. Proper pricing of power could help to ensure sustainable private sector participation. The current lack of a renewable energy policy, the fragmented nature of responsibilities for renewable energy development between government departments, the lack of a renewable energy feed-in tariff, and the general poor economic performance and lack of financial resources in the country, all contribute to the lack of development of sustainable energy sources.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC, www.zerc.co.zw) is a statutory body established under the Electricity Act, (Chapter 13:19) No. 4 of 2002, as amended by the Electricity Amendment Act No. 3 of 2003. It became operational in August 2003. The Petroleum Act, passed in 2006, provided for the establishment of the Petroleum Regulatory Authority (PRA), to licence and regulate the petroleum industry, to promote the development of efficient procurement, sales and distribution of petroleum products, and to safeguard the interests of consumers of petroleum products. The PRA also has an advisory role to the Minister. The PRA is still to be established.
Solar energyAverage solar insolation stands at 5.7 kWh/ m2/day. The potential for renewable energy, especially from solar PV and solar water heaters, is enormous but thus far hasn’t been sufficiently exploited. Solar PV has a technical potential of over 300 MW, whilst only 1% of the technical potential for water heaters is being exploited. Currently installed solar power capacity is mainly situated in rural areas, as service centres such as schools and hospitals, although the private, individual home market is growing in the country. Solar-powered “base stations” for charging electrical appliances have also been installed, particularly through the national telecommunications company, NetOne. Wind energyAverage wind speeds have been estimated at 3.5 m/s. The NGO ZERO, a regional environmental initiative, has conducted feasibility studies and financed production of a number of 1 and 4 kW wind turbines for off-grid purposes, as well as providing power to municipal buildings such as clinics. Areas around Bulawayo and some pockets in the Eastern Highlands, have potential for power generation application, since the most prevalent wind speeds in these regions range from 4 to 6 m/s. These wind speed ranges have a high frequency and time distributions, particularly suited to power generation. Biomass energyCo-generation potential (bagasse), is estimated at 633 GWh. Apart from sugarcane, there is also potential for wood waste power generation. The timber industry in Zimbabwe is almost entirely based on plantation timber, which generates over 70,000 tons of biomass waste annually. Long-term projections expect this figure to double by 2015. While at the largest mills a small fraction (~10%) of the wood waste generated, is currently consumed in process steam boilers for lumber drying kilns, the vast majority is burned in the open air or dumped. An estimated 4 MW of power could be generated from waste produced from the largest mills. According to studies carried out by African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN), more than 200 biogas plants have been installed around Zimbabwe, mainly by the Department of Energy. The vast livestock population offers great potential for using biogas from animal waste for electricity generation. In the south of the country there are two sugarcane-crushing mills that use more than 1.3 million tonnes of bagasse to generate electricity used by the sugar factories. In terms of biofuels, the country has a target of substituting 10% of the nation’s fuel requirements by 2015 through biofuels. This target is to be met by expanding sugar cane growth for ethanol production, expanding Jatropha growth (with 122,000 hectares to be planted), and the construction of a 500 million litre/annum ethanol production plant, currently implemented under a public-private partnership. In addition, a 35 million litre/annum biodiesel production facility is already in place in the country. Geothermal energy50 MW of geothermal potential was identified in 1985, but little has been done since to further catalogue the resource. It is reasonable to assume from the country's geographic location near to the geologically-active Rift Valley region of Africa that geothermal power is an option. HydropowerThe gross theoretical hydropower potential is 18500 GWh/year, and the technically feasible potential is 17500 GWh/year. About 19% of the technically feasible potential has been exploited. Rusitu Hydro, a mini hydro plant (750kW) constructed and operated by private entrepreneurs is selling power to ZESA. A further 5 MW of small-hydro capacity additions have been announced by the government. Around eight small-hydro plants have currently been installed in the country, ranging from 3 kW to over 700 kW. Total small-hydro potential across the country is estimated at 120 MW, with Gairezi in Nyange district being particularly promising, with an estimated 30 MW of potential capacity.
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