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Zimbabwe to build first utility geothermal power plant

The initiative is part of the Green Resilient Recovery Rapid Readiness (GRRRR) and Geothermal Energy Development Project. The Green Climate Fund supports this project, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

The geothermal project involves a 10MW power plant located in the Chimbwatata Hot Springs in Binga District. Binary cycle geothermal technology is chosen for its suitability, generating electricity and potential waste heat utilization.

Zimbabwe is facing an energy crisis due to decreased water levels in the Lake Kariba dam, impacting the Kariba South hydroelectric power plant. Energy generation is significantly dependent on hydropower, making the country vulnerable to climate change.

In 2021 according to the Climate Change Management Department (CCMD) under the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, Zimbabwe’s energy generation was 29% non-renewable and 71% renewable, with hydropower being the largest contributor at 69%.Climate change-induced factors such as increased drought frequency and reduced water levels have impacted hydropower, leading to energy deficits. While Zimbabwe’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions is only 0.03%, the country is highly sensitive to extreme climate events and ranks among the top 10 countries most affected by climate change.

The country is exploring alternative energy sources such as wind, methane gas, nuclear, and biofuels to complement thermal and hydropower. Joint ventures or private international capital are also considered necessary for the success of many projects.

Source: Pumps