THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) will this year carry out a national energy audit in a bid to provide adequate statistical data on the country’s potential renewable energy generation capacity.
Report by Own Correspondent
Zera public relations manager Gladman Njanji confirmed the development and said the audit would provide a basis for decision making and policy formulation.
He said there was lack of information on the potential energy that could be generated and the cost of procuring energy locally, particularly from renewable power sources.
According to Zera, the terms of reference for the national energy audit have already been finalised and a consultant has been engaged to carry out the audit.
It is expected to identify potential sources of renewable energy and develop feed in tariffs for solar, small hydro biomass and biogas.
Part of the audit is expected to help in coming up with a renewable energy procurement policy framework and provide information to potential investors with an interest in the country’s energy sector.
The audit is part of efforts towards the attainment of energy efficiency in the country and increasing renewable energy.
Zimbabwe last carried out a cost of supply study in 2004, which reflected very low tariffs that were not feasible for private sector participation.
The tariffs have remained problematic for investors, as they need to sell power at a price that allows them to break even and make profits, hence the need for the cost of supply study.
Zera is also awaiting results of a study that will determine the cost of procuring power in the country as a basis for decision-making since Zimbabwe is facing a serious electricity deficit
The country is currently producing 1 200 megawatts (MW) against a demand of 2 000MW.
The sector has been facing a myriad of challenges that include lack of investments, capital, archaic equipment and machinery and shortage of skilled labour.
The government is, however, expected to afford Independent Power Producers the opportunity to enter the power supply sector in order to increase the country’s power generating capacity.