Roadshow looks to renewables-based solutions to Zimbabwe’s ongoing power crisis
REPP recently contributed to a workshop on Financing Climate & Renewable Energy Projects, organised by the Private Finance Advisory Network (PFAN). The meeting was held on 28 November in Harare, Zimbabwe, and was attended by renewable energy project developers, financiers and key government stakeholders, including the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) and the Zimbabwe Ministry of Energy and Power. REPP was represented by Alec Joubert, an Investment Officer with Camco Clean Energy, which manages REPP.
The meeting was hosted by Charles Murove of Hermit Sustainability Advisory. Thaven Naidoo, coordinator for southern Africa for PFAN. introduced the network and the role it plays in supporting developers to prepare bankable renewable energy projects. Michael Feldner, also of PFAN, then led participants through an interactive discussion of the key steps in the project development process and shared his experiences of developing renewable energy projects in South Africa and elsewhere across the subcontinent. Alec Joubert made a presentation to introduce REPP and the development-stage and gap funding support that it can offer to small and medium-scale renewable energy projects in the region.
For both PFAN and REPP, the workshop was an opportunity to meet local developers to discuss key barriers in developing and financing renewable energy projects in Zimbabwe. The highlight of the meeting was an open discussion which was facilitated by Isaiah Nyakusendwa, CEO of the Renewable Energy Association of Zimbabwe (REAZ). In a wide-ranging discussion, several key barriers for the bankability of renewable energy projects in Zimbabwe were discussed. The two key barriers identified related to the creditworthiness of the utility offtaker in Zimbabwe (ZETDC), as well as issues relating to access to foreign currency in Zimbabwe. While discussed at length, these remain intractable issues, with several innovative solutions proposed and debated during the session.
The meeting concluded with a commitment from all participants to continue to develop renewable energy solutions to the ongoing power crisis in Zimbabwe.