Energy Sector

Electrictiy generation

Zimbabwe is heavily reliant on its coal and water resources for electricity. The bulk of the supply comes from the Kariba Dam hydroelectric power station (750 MW), the Hwange thermal power station (920 MW) and three smaller coal-fired power stations.

No major new developments have been completed since the commissioning of the Hwange coal-fired plant in 1988. At present, only an estimated 60% of the country’s installed capacity is available for power generation. In recent months Zimbabwe has been facing an unprecedented crisis, causing the electricity supply to drop to half of the country’s demand. This was the result of declining water levels at the Kariba Dam coupled with technical faults at the Hwange power station. Maintenance and repairs lead to extensive load shedding, resulting in regular supply interruptions lasting up to 18 hours. To improve the situation and meet rising demand, the Zimbabwe Power Company announced expansion projects for the Hwange (+600 MW) and Kariba hydropower stations (+300 MW) in 2014.


Share of resources in electricity generation as of 2012




Domestic Households

Net tariffs per kWh effective from 1st of January 2013 in USD (tariffs are subject to change)
1 – 50 kWh 51 – 300 kWh Balance
Conventional Meter 0.02 0.11 0.15
Prepayment Meter Standard 0.1 0.1 0.1
Prepayment Meter Stepped 0.02 0.11 0.15
Public Lighting Energy charge per kWh Monthly charge per watt of luminaire  
Metered 0.11
Unmetered 0.03

Source: Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company





Mining, industrial, commercial and pumping works, agricultural and institutions

Net tariffs per kWh, effective from 1 January 2013, USD (tariffs are subject to change)
Peak energy charge per kWh Standard energy charge per kWh Off-peak energy charge per kWh
Low voltage 0.12
11 kV, 33 kV, secondary distribution 0.13 0.07 0.04

Source: Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company


Transmission and distribution network

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is responsible for developing, operating and maintaining the transmission and distribution network. The transmission system consists of over 7,274 km of 420 kV, 330 kV, 220 kV, 132 kV, 88 kV and 66 kV lines as well as substations. ZETDC intends to strengthen and extend the transmission and sub-transmission networks until 2020 in order to boost the country’s electrification rates.

zimbabwe transmission

Source: African Development Bank

The country has over 119,784 km of distribution lines serving approximately 600,000 customers. ZETDC has prepared short, medium and long-term master plan studies with an aim to achieve greater reliability in the distribution system and ensure that it is capable of meeting future requirements. The studies outline the need to ensure reliable power supply, with a particular focus on the growing main cities. With this in mind, ZETDC plans to strengthen existing distribution networks.