July 6, 2015

Zimbabwe Government Develops Renewable Energy Policy

Government, through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is in the process of developing a Renewable Energy Policy, which seeks to address economic and environment issues associated with the exploitation and use of renewable energy.

Through the policy, Government expects to prioritise the exploitation of available renewable energy resources and create an environment for an increased uptake of renewable energy and to give a guideline on how the renewable energy sector should be structured.

The deputy director, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Mr Godwill Wakatama said the policy will help to establish market oriented measures and regulatory instruments for the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe.

Mr Wakatama was presenting a paper on the State of Policy and Legal Framework on Green Energy at a workshop on Exploring the Policy and Legal Framework for the Green Energy Production in Zimbabwe last week.

The workshop brought together senior Government officials, development partners, the academia and the civil society.

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organised the workshop. He said the Renewable Energy Policy formulation process is being financed by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Practical Action, ZERO and Hivos.

The tasks in the policy development work include a background analysis on the current status and identification of current barriers to the uptake of renewable energy technologies, stakeholder consultations, review of international best practices and preparation of a Draft Renewable Energy and Implementation Plan.

While the country adopts the use of green or renewable energy, there should be a detailed understanding of the impacts of the alternative sources of energy.

Renewables offer a solution to the challenges brought about by the use of fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources contributed 19 percent to global energy consumption and 22 percent to electricity generation in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Some of the challenges that come with the production and use of renewables include environmental threats, effects of the use of caustic chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid in the fabrication of solar panels, the production of which emits greenhouse gases and wastewater.

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