The government of Zimbabwe has announced that it intends to exempt investors in solar energy from paying taxes for a period of five years. The move is targeted at attracting investment from solar energy producers in the country. This new move is set to complement other measures taken by the Zimbabwean government, such as the duty-free import of solar energy production equipment.
The new incentives will benefit off-grid solar providers more as these decentralised solutions are accelerating the electrification in Zimbabwe as well as other countries in Africa. Owing to outdated power generation and transmission infrastructure, Zimbabwe will rely on mini-grids for electrification in the coming years.
Zimbabwe’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has invested heavily in off-grid solar for the electrification of rural areas. REA has set up 372 PV mini-grids of 0.9 kWp each, totaling 334.5 kWp, in schools and clinics throughout the country. Other installations have been commissioned or commissioned by non-governmental organisations and some private developers. These solutions are expected to meet part of Zimbabwe’s estimated electricity demand of 2, 200 MW. The country currently has an installed solar capacity of 1, 940 MW.
Frequent power cuts in Zimbabwe, have led to many businesses moving to affordable and more reliable sources of energy. Recently, South African energy start-up Sun Exchange raised $1.4 million in a crowd sale of solar cells of a 1.9 MW solar and battery storage facility at Zimbabwe’s Nhimbe Fresh farm.