Zimbabwe: Insufficient funding delays renewable energy projects

Zimbabwe: Insufficient funding delays renewable energy projects

The energy minister, Samuel Undenge, has declared that the country has the capacity to produce 1,600MW of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.

However, this view may just remain a dream as lack of funding in the country for these projects is still a barrier.

Yesterday ESI Africa reported that according to the energy deputy minister, Tsitsi Muzenda, three of the planned solar energy projects still require $202 million in order to be executed.

Now Green Rhino Energy's managing director, Joachim Baumgaertner, has also noted the challenge of funding as the stumbling block for their Marondera based solar power project.

Speaking to the Herald Business, Baumgaertner said the firm is working closely with debt providers, political risk insurers and investors to make sure the project goes ahead.

Green Rhino Energy is a partner in a joint venture partnership in De Green Rhino Energy Private Limited with a Zimbabwean company, De Opper Trading.

Renewable energy projects

Baumgaertner said: "We are currently finalising the local and national agreements to enable us to get the project funded. The investment context in Zimbabwe is certainly challenging at the moment. We are working very closely with a number of debt providers, political risk insurers and investors.”

He said project costs have also managed to come down considerably due to advances in the solar industry.

Baumgaertner disclosed that the estimated capital for the entire project is $200 million with Phase One costing about $70 million. A capacity of 50MW is planned for the first phase and the company plans to upgrade to 100MW going forward.

Other proposed solar projects, each with 100MW, include Gwanda, Munyati and Insukamini. Read more...

According to the Herald Business, the construction of Gwanda solar PV power plant will involve the construction of a 15-kilometre 132kV line from the solar plant to the existing Gwanda 132kV substation; a 132kV line bay at the new Gwanda solar plant site; a 132kV line bay at the existing Gwanda 132kV substation, a 20-varb fast response reactor at Gwanda 132kV substation and substation ancillary equipment.

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