26 April 2015, Harare – THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) requires substantial amounts of money to connect the country’s rural communities to the national grid, a South African energy expert has said.
Zimbabwe currently has a backlog of 1,5 million rural households and 5 000 public institutions that require electrification.
“This translates to US$125 million per year to offer grid-electricity to all households and public institutions within the next 10 years,” Rulf Tobich told a stakeholders meeting.
Tobich said the total figure does not include inflation adjustments, household connection costs, wiring of premises and electricity generation and transmission infrastructure expansion.
REA planning engineer, Anorld Madziya, said 8 000 rural institutions have been connected to the national grid so far since 2002.
By June 2013, the authority had managed to connect 7,350 rural institutions onto the national grid, which was 10 percent of the targeted figure.
Tobich said at the current rate, it would take 80 to 90 years to complete the rural electrification project.
Madziya said REA was aware of the country’s energy crisis and pursuing other energy options to meet energy demand.
The country is currently generating 1 200 megawatts against a total national peak demand of 2 200 MW.