British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Melanie Robinson, has revealed that a British company is ready to invest around £30 million in a solar plant in Zimbabwe. The Ambassador was quoted in state daily newspaper, Chronicle.
“There is a British company that wants to invest £30 million in renewable energy, in solar in Zimbabwe. We are looking at solar-powered plants and they are waiting for independent power producers and power purchase agreements,” said Ms Robinson.
The Ambassador made the revelation during a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Larry Mavima last week.
Ms Robinson said the winning tender to work with the British investor will be chosen through an auction.
“We also need to get the policy framework right and investments will come. That is the advice I am giving you. The international best practices can be in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Zimbabwe launched its National Renewable Energy Policy (NREP) last year. The country set the target of achieving an installed renewable capacity of 2,100MW by 2030, which it hopes will be 26.5% of the overall electricity supply in Zimbabwe. The nation currently has a national electrification rate of 40%.
Ms Robinson said she was worried that there has been a surge in the demand for other non-renewable energy like coal at the expense of renewable energy.
“The UK is hosting the COPE 26 later this year to try to avoid the worst impact on climate change. Climate change is also being felt in Zimbabwe even though we know that most of the pollution is coming from the developed world.
“President Mnangagwa committed a 40 percent reduction in waste. We need investment in renewable energy,” she said.
Minister Mavima said the land for renewable energy plants was available in the Midlands province and the country at large.
“In Lower Gweru there will be a 100MW plant and also at Munyati and we have other projects that will be taking shape under local authorities. The land we have for FDIs and of course IPPs, power purchase agreements should be there,” he said.