from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S regulatory framework, especially in institutional capacity, agenda for renewable energy and tariffs, is among the best in Africa.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) rated the country highly in its Energy Regulatory Index (ERI) 2020.
Zimbabwe advanced from 21st position (out of 34 participants) in ERI 2019 to sixth position (out of 36 participants) in ERI 2020.
Some regulatory initiatives and actions have led to improvements in the country’s regulatory framework, according to the bank.
AfDB cited cost reflective tariffs.
During the first half of 2020, tariffs were not adjusted for large currency depreciation.
The regulator, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), was temporarily unable to recover its cost of operation from the tariff during the early part of the year.
Nevertheless, ZERA is implementing a programme of gradual migration back to cost reflective levels through tariff adjustments of 50 percent within three months (from September 2020 to December 2020).
ZERA has invested a lot of resources in training existing staff over the past year in key regulatory areas and recruited a few experts to join its team, thereby adequately strengthening staff capacity.
There is also an improvement in renewable energy compared with the situation in 2019.
Most renewable energy projects are connected in the distribution network and automatically synchronise, if grid voltage is available.
This guarantees unimpeded power access.
The RGI assesses how well the regulatory framework supports electricity sector reform, promotes efficiency and meets desired economic, financial, environmental and social objectives.
– CAJ News