World Bulletin/News Desk
Zimbabwe is seeking to develop a renewable energy policy to provide the sector with guidelines and a roadmap for creating a more conducive environment for attracting investment.
"The policy is set to address all the gaps, such as incentives for increased uptake and investment in renewable energy and legislation, just to mention a few," Gloria Magombo, CEO of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), told Anadolu Agency.
Magombo said her organization was working to develop the policy in coordination with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
"The terms of reference have been finalized and ZERA is set to fund the project," she said.
"ZERA intends to initiate a consultative process to develop a renewable energy policy; we're going to involve a number of stakeholders," added Magombo.
"We have put up funds for the process and expect in a few weeks to go to tender for the new policy development," she noted. "We also intend to learn from our South African counterparts to develop the policy."
ZERA, mandated with regulating the country's energy sector, is also registering all the country's renewable energy service providers in order to compile a database and facilitate the formation of a renewable energy association.
An Energy Ministry spokesperson confirmed that the ministry was in the process of developing a renewable energy policy with other stakeholders.
The spokesman declined to elaborate further.
Magombo dismissed the country's current energy policy – set in 2012 – as "fragmented."
According to Magombo, gaps in Zimbabwe's current energy policy include a lack of a separate renewable energy policy; a need for energy management regulations; and a lack of clean energy funding mechanisms and procurement framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Magombo maintains that the introduction of a separate renewable energy policy would help propel the issue to a new level.
"The renewable energy policy is expected to address most of the challenges and issues in the clean energy sector," she said.
According to ZERA, the country has significant quantities of clean energy resources that can be tapped for sustainable economic growth.
"ZERA is promoting the use of ethanol, as it is a sustainable, clean and renewable fuel for cooking," said Magombo.
ZERA has also developed a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) scheme, which has yet to be implemented.
REFIT mandates power utilities operating on the national grid with purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources at a pre-determined price with a view to stimulating investment in the sector.
"The feed-in tariffs were developed for renewable energy technologies applicable to Zimbabwe, such as solar PV, small hydro, biomass, bagasse and biogas," said Magombo.
"REFIT is meant to promote renewable energy projects up to a maximum capacity of ten megawatts," she added.
Zimbabwe's current economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Sustainable Transformation (ZIMASSET), which was developed in 2013, sets renewable and energy efficiency targets.
It aims to increase the use of renewable energy resources by 300 megawatts by 2018 and to substitute 20 percent of the country's petrol imports with bio-fuels by 2015.
ZIMASSET also seeks to substitute 5 percent of the country's diesel imports with bio-diesel by 2020.
Last Mod: 03 Ekim 2014, 13:45