Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor

Allowing investors to get their returns in foreign currency – denominated funds can open floodgates for foreign direct investment in the renewable energy power generation in the country, UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson said on Tuesday.

She told participants at a virtual multi-stakeholder coalition pushing for low carbon development in Zimbabwe forum that currency stability and payment in US dollars could influence British companies to invest in the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe.

“Getting the independent power producers investment policies right and making commitments to get IPP payments in US dollars is quite important for investors,” Robinson said.

“This will allow us to get investment in renewable energy power generation. We also need to raise the visibility of renewable energy initiatives to the public to help them understand their role in reducing carbon emissions and in protecting the environment.”

The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) organised the virtual forum to help explore ways and strategies to promote the growth of the use of renewable energy in Zimbabwe. Negative investor perceptions have in the past complicated the country’s prospects to promote inward foreign investments into the country.

The government has since 2017 adopted a battery of measures to remove barriers and bottlenecks that had made Zimbabwe unattractive to potential investors. Despite the economic problems facing the country and the huge cost of investing in renewables, the country is making steady progress in terms of the uptake of solar energy by households, large corporates and mining giants. ZERA has processed 39 solar power projects that have capacity to generate up 1,151.87MW, as the country moves to transform its renewable energy generation capacity.

The projects require an investment of over $2,3 billion. – The Herald