The government of Zimbabwe intends to exempt solar power investors from paying taxes for a period of 5 years; as part of its policy to encourage investment in solar energy. This will be in addition to the exemption of import duties on solar power equipment into Zimbabwe.
According to the Zimbabwean Minister of Energy, Zhemu Soda, this is done to motivate those who want to invest in solar energy production so that the solar networks can be connected to the national grid. “Whatever they produce in those five years, they will not have to pay taxes to the government,” he explained during a question and answer session in the Senate.
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Electrification of Zimbabwe through mini-grids
The new incentives will benefit off-grid solar providers more. These decentralised solutions are accelerating the electrification process in Zimbabwe as well as elsewhere in Africa. Due to its outdated power generation and transmission infrastructure, Zimbabwe will rely on mini-grids for electrification in the coming years.
Zimbabwe’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is banking on off-grid for the electrification of rural areas. REA has already installed 372 PV mini-grids of 0.9 kWp each, totalling 334.5 kWp, in schools and clinics throughout the country. Other installations have been commissioned or commissioned by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and some private developers. These solutions are expected to meet part of Zimbabwe’s estimated electricity demand of 2 200MW.