Zimbabwe SE4All Initiative

Zimbabwe’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative

Sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy. One person in five on the planet still lacks access to electricity. Twice that number, three billion people, relies on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In today's economy, this is inequitable – a major barrier to eradicating poverty. In industrialized countries, the energy problem is one of waste and pollution, not shortage. Throughout the world, inefficient energy use harms economic productivity and energy-related emissions contribute significantly to the dangerous warming of our planet. Climate change puts us all at risk, but it hurts the poor first - and worst.

Out of Zimbabwe’s12.5 million people, more than 70 percent of them live in rural areas without access to modern energy. Only 19 percent of the population in the country has access to electricity. The majority relies on conventional sources of energy to meet their energy service needs.

The household energy sector remains the largest consumer   of   energy characterized by high dependence on traditional biomass.

The key to both challenges is to provide sustainable energy for all – energy that is accessible, cleaner and more efficient.

Sustainable energy provides new opportunities for growth during the economic downturn. Sustainable energy enables businesses to grow, generate jobs, create new markets and millions more children can study after dark. Zimbabwe can grow a more resilient, competitive economy. With sustainable energy, the country can leapfrog over the limits of the energy systems of the past and build the clean energy economy of the future. Sustainable energy for all is an investment in our collective future.

Working in partnerships

The civil society as well as media initiatives on Sustainable Energy for All would   strengthen partnership  and collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, The Rural Electrification Agency (REA), United Nations agencies, the European Union, local and international non-governmental organizations, the private sector and financial institutions through joint collaboration in design and implementation of projects that help to improve energy access for all by 2030.

The future with Sustainable Energy for All

Energy access is not just about fulfilling basic needs and keeping people alive – it is about escaping poverty and participating in the modern world. It can help people earn a decent living so they can work their way out of poverty.

In Zimbabwe, efforts to promote utilization of sustainable energy have already begun and will accelerate over the coming two decades. Sustainable Energy for All is an idea whose time has come. Turning ideas into action depends on us all. Working together, we can power a brighter future.

A new initiative

The United Nations Secretary General has called for a global goal for achieving universal energy access to modern energy services by 2030. He is leading a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All to mobilize action from all sectors of society: business, governments, investors, community groups and academia. Three billion people will no longer live in energy poverty and 30 million deaths from smoke- related diseases will be avoided, if the goals are achieved. This is in support of three interlinked objectives:

•    Universal access to modern energy services

•    Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

•    Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

In Zimbabwe, through government departments, parastatals, the private sector and civil society, the country has made effort to implement the Sustainable Energy for All campaign. A gap Analysis has been crafted by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.   Civil Society is already in action.  A civil society advocacy statement on SE4All has been produced. The following are the expected actions by civil society in Zimbabwe:

  • The government can develop national energy plans and targets, provide financial support, and remove counterproductive tariffs and subsidies.
  • Companies can make their operations and supply chains more energy-efficient, and form public- private partnerships to expand the use of sustainable energy products and services.
  • Investors can provide seed money for clean technologies and invest in both on - and off-grid energy solutions.
  • Industry,   government,   and   academia   can contribute to technology innovation. Civil society groups can train entrepreneurs, engage in advocacy, and demand accountability.
  • The media have also shown the will to help raise awareness on renewable energy and sustainable energy for all.