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Only 47% of citizens have access to electricity

by Staff Reporter
16 Dec 2019 at 10:19hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has said only 47 percent of the country's population has access to electricity.

Zera's consumer services manager Engineer Nobert Matarutse on Friday told Bulawayo residents at Pumula South Hall during a customer stakeholders meeting that the authority aims to scale up accessibility through opening up of the power markets.

In May, Zera revealed that in the last five years it has licensed 51 Independent Power Producers (IPPs), although some of them have failed to kick-off.

The IPPs contribute 137,08 Gigawatts hours to the national grid.

"We want to have a more open market just like what is happening in the petroleum sector where clients can choose a station to buy petro from. We want more competition which will enable customers to make choices on their preferred electricity supplier. Previously, Zesa was the only player but we have opened up the sector through bringing in IPPs. At the moment 47 percent of the population in Zimbabwe has access to electricity but we want to increase this figure. We want 80 percent or even 100 percent if possible," said Eng Matarutse.

He said the country should invest more in solar power as it is an efficient and ecologically friendly alternative. Eng Matarutse said while Zera was satisfied with some IPPs that have successfully constructed their power plants, there are others who have failed.

"There are some IPPs that are yet to implement their projects citing a number of factors and these include failure to get financial closure," he said.

Source - Chronicle