THE Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) says it is seeking Green Climate Fund (GCF) accreditation as it increases its focus on renewable energy projects following the energy shortages faced by the country lately.
In 2019 and during the first quarter of 2020, the country faced power shortages as the major power generation plant was operating below capacity due to low water levels in the Kariba Dam.
“Calls for increased investment in climate resilient renewable sources of energy have become louder and an inescapable imperative. The Bank is responding to this call by increasing its focus on developing renewable energy projects,” Joseph Mutizwa, IDBZ board chairperson said in a statement accompanying the bank’s financial results for the six months ended June 2020.
He said the bank has completed the first stage towards accreditation to the Green Climate Fund, while the second phase of the process — a detailed technical review of the application — is currently underway and is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
“The feasibility study towards the establishment of a Climate Finance Facility, which will be an innovative funding window to support green projects, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020,” the chairperson said, adding that these initiatives are expected to put the bank “at the centre of national efforts towards combating the effects of climate change, through coordinating mobilisation of funding for building climate resilient, mitigatory and robust infrastructure”.
In September last year, IBDZ issued a request for proposals seeking partners for the construction of seven solar parks with a generation capacity of 235MW and two mini-hydro power plants.
This also comes as the government, in partnership with the World Bank, has announced plans to introduce a competitive programme for procuring large-scale photovoltaic solar power gadgets under the recently completed National Renewable Energy Policy (NREP), to boost availability of power in the country.
The NREP focuses on the energy needs of the country from renewable resources and is aiming at securing Zimbabwe’s long-term energy supply needs in a sustainable way.
Zimbabwe requires about 1 800MW during peak periods, but power generation is averaging 700MW due to low water levels in Kariba Dam.
Hwange Power Station’s capacity is also constrained due to old equipment.