Drought shuts down 70% of Zimbabwe Power Supply
Record low water levels caused by years of drought are forcing the shutdown of the hydroelectric power plant responsible for generating more than 70% of Zimbabwe's electricity. The Zambezi River Authority ordered the Kariba Dam shutdown on Nov. 25; the jointly Zimbabwe- and Zambia-owned Kariba South hydropower station has already used more than its 2022 water allocation and usable storage was at just 4.6% of capacity. The plant had been producing 572 MW of the 782 MW generated in Zimbabwe. (By way of comparison, the 400 MW shortfall caused by PG&E accidentally shutting down a gas plant in August 2020 accounted for "roughly 0.5%" of California's power demand at the time.) Zimbabwe's already-unreliable electrical grid will likely get even spottier, and more polluting, with increasingly old and unreliable coal-fired power plants being called upon for more power.
(Climate Signals background: Drought)
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