• Generation decreased to 1.5k MW
  • This was from 1.6k MW yesterday
  • Power struggles to persist

Harare- Zimbabwe's daily electricity generation dipped to 1556 megawatts from the previous day's record of 1681 megawatts, as reported by the Zimbabwe Power Company in its latest data release.

Hwange Power Station's output witnessed a 10-megawatt increase, rising from 975 megawatts yesterday to 985 megawatts today. However, the contribution from Kariba Power Station decreased from 706 megawatts to 550 megawatts.

The small thermal power plants maintained their non-operational status, providing no contribution to the electricity generation. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generated 21 megawatts of electricity.

During peak demand, Zimbabwe consumes approximately 2.3 to 2.4 thousand megawatts of electricity, which results in a deficit of around 800 to 900 megawatts. This deficit indicates the shortfall between the electricity consumed and the available supply, highlighting the ongoing challenges in meeting the country's energy demands.

Despite the current electricity deficit, the situation is expected to worsen in the near future due to the expansion of the lithium and mining industry in Zimbabwe. Even with a power output of 2.3 thousand megawatts, it will be insufficient to meet the growing energy demands even by next year. This includes accounting for population growth and the needs of the manufacturing sector.

The country's largest platinum group metals (PGMs) producer, Zimplats, currently relies heavily on energy imports. Approximately 50% of its energy requirements are sourced from outside of Zimbabwe. This dependence on external energy sources further highlights the need for increased domestic power generation to support the growing industries and ensure energy security in the country.

The power struggle in Zimbabwe can be traced back to the mismanagement of funds and the reliance on aging power plants, many of which date back to the colonial era. These older plants have reached a state of deterioration and are unable to generate electricity at their full capacity.

The mismanagement of funds has hindered the necessary investments in upgrading and modernizing the power infrastructure. Insufficient funds allocated to maintenance and repairs have exacerbated the problem, leading to decreased efficiency and reliability of the power plants.

In addition to the challenges posed by aging power plants and mismanagement of funds, Zimbabwe's power generation efficacy is further hindered by the depletion of water levels in dams. The Kariba Power Station, rely on hydropower generation, which requires sufficient water levels to operate at optimal capacity. The depletion of water levels due to droughts significantly impact the efficiency of power generation.

Corruption has been a persistent issue in Zimbabwe, with significant financial losses reported annually. If these funds, estimated to be over US$1 billion, were properly utilized and allocated to the revitalization of the energy sector, it could contribute to addressing the infrastructure challenges and improving power generation capabilities.

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