06 Dec 2023

Zimbabwe to Build First Utility-Scale Geothermal Power Plant

06 Dec 2023  by thinkgeoenergy   

Zimbabwe (source: Ulrika / flickr, Creative Commons)
Zimbabwe has announced plans of constructing a 10-MW geothermal power plant at the Chimbwawata Hot Springs in the Binga district. The announcement comes after the country has experienced increase drought frequency resulting in lower output from hydropower plants which accounts for about 69% of Zimbabwe’s energy generation.

The Geothermal Energy Development Project is an initiative of the Green Resilient Recover Rapid Readiness (GRRRR) and has been approved under the Green Climate Fund with the aim of increasing access to clean and reliable energy.

Zimbabwe currently has no installed geothermal power plants, despite having 32 potential geothermal sites as identified previously by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

Reduced hydropower output

The future geothermal power plant will also complement Zimbabwe’s existing energy systems. According to the Climate Change Management Department (CCMD) under the Ministry of Environment, Climate, and Wildlife, Zimbabwe’s total energy generation in 2021 was a combination of 71% from renewable sources and 29% from non-renewable sources.

A large majority of the renewable energy generated in Zimbabwe is from hydropower, accounting for about 69% of total energy generation. About 84% of the current hydropower generation comes from the Kariba South hydroelectric plant. However, water levels in Kariba Dam have dropped to below 1% at the end of 2022, reportedly causing an energy crisis that has also affected neighboring country Zambia

This situation has highlighted the need to develop other renewable energy sources, such as geothermal.


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