As the electricity miseries continue to mount, government has revealed that it is committed to providing energy for all to improve power supply in the country as well as to achieve the goals set out in the ZimAsset policy document.
The country’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Structural Socio Economic Transformation (ZIM ASSET), identifies energy as a key enabler under infrastructure and utilities as well as under the value addition and beneficiation clusters.
Chief Energy Planning Officer in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Mr Aleck Gubba said government is committed to providing energy.
He said this while addressing members of the civil society, journalists and the private sector at a workshop dubbed, the status of Sustainable Energy for All in Zimbabwe (SE4ALL).
“Energy is critical to our livelihoods and as witnessed by the adverse effects of climate change on our national grid has been immensely affected and hence need to work together.
“This SE4ALL platform provides space for deliberation, dialogue and exchange of ideas as it emphasizes on partnerships and coordination of efforts of various stakeholders with the background that sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy,” he said.
Mr Gubba said that there is need for partnerships in the energy sector so as to realise the 2030 target which seeks to provide energy for all.
“The urgency of providing energy for all is critical and once again I will emphasize on partnerships in the energy sector and beyond to achieve this target by 2030. So critical is the energy issue that the period 2014-2024 has been recognised as the “Decade for Sustainable Energy for all,” Said Mr Gubba
Sustainable Energy for All is a UN led initiative spearheaded by relevant ministries at country level in partnership with other stakeholders namely private sector and civil society. The initiative has three main objectives; universal access to modern energy services in 2030; doubling the share of renewable energy in the global mix and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency.
He added that government through his ministry has engaged multiple stakeholders in a bid to raise on energy related issues.
“Government has been working with various stakeholders including , Hivos, Practical Action, Oxfam, SNV, Zimbabwe Energy Council, ZERO among others to raise awareness and buy in to ensure energy is at the centre of all development.
“The Ministry is working on developing an energy efficiency, renewable energy and Independent Power Producer policies which directly link to the SE4ALL initiative,” he said.
He also commended the rapid increase in the private public partnerships, which he say aid governmemt in ensuring that alternative sources of energy are provided to the masses.
“We are also seeing an increase in private public partnerships and decentralised/off-grid infrastructure systems that ease pressure on the national grid. Private sector and development banks should also play a vital role in increasing investment towards off grid technologies,” he said.
However, Mr Gubba cited lack of funding, lack of technical skills and lack of long term planning as some of the hindrances to the attainment for SE4All.
‘Lack of funding and capitalisation which will go towards replacing aged equipment will hinder us from achieving our energy efficiency goal. Lack of technical skills and expertise to develop and adopt renewable energy technologies is also a challenge
On Lack of long term planning, he said, “Zimbabwe does not have agreed medium to long term targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy.”