Accounting practices in renewable energy


Accounting practices in renewable energy entities: The case of Masvingo Province

By Rejoice Mandizvidza
Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)


Benias Mapepeta (Dr)  
Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) Masvingo Campus



There have been several players in the energy sector in Zimbabwe. Small to large enterprises have been clamouring on the energy sector due to the protracted shortages of energy in Zimbabwe. The larger impact has been on the rural areas, where energy has not been meaningful except for domestic uses. Both private sector and the government have been fighting for share in the energy sector. Failure and success stories have been narrated from different angles. This study sought to investigate accountability in small and large enterprises active in the energy sector. The major objective was to explore accountability in entities active in the energy sector in Masvingo and to investigate the accounting systems being applied at these entities in Masvingo. The literature related to this study was linked to various authors and researchers creating an empirical framework applied on this study. Due to the characteristics of the research, the qualitative research method was used on a population of all the 20 entities active in the energy sector in Masvingo.   The data collection instruments used were the questionnaires and the interviews to formal entities and non-formal entities. Data gathered was presented through frequency tables and graphs extracted using the Microsoft Excel packages. The researchers found out that most organisations/entities active in the energy sector are small to medium scale enterprises. The researchers also found that these entities barely use any accounting system to account for their business activities. For those large corporates, their books are not properly administered. It was concluded by the researchers that accounting systems need to be put in place in entities active in the energy sector. The researchers recommended monitoring systems and policies in the energy sector.

KEY WORDS: Energy Sector, Accountability, Sustainability


  1. Background/Introduction

In 2009, about 1.4 billion people in the world lived without electricity, and 2.7 billion relied on wood, charcoal and dung for home energy requirements (European Commission, 2001). This lack of access to modern energy technology limits income generation, blunts efforts to escape poverty, affects people’s health, and contributes to global deforestation and climate change (Bitsch, 2002). Small-scale renewable energy technologies and distributed energy options, such as onsite solar power and improved cook stoves, offer rural households modern energy services (GEF, Renewable Energy, 2013).

Technologies that promote sustainable energy include renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy, wind energy, wave power, geothermal energy, bioenergy, tidal power and also technologies designed to improve energy efficiency (Bronicki, 2002). Costs have fallen dramatically in recent years, and continue to fall.

G8 Renewable Energy Task Force (2001) suggest that gadgets, libations, installations and even a documentary are proving that renewable energy entrepreneurs are working hard to make our lives better in every way possible.

Sustainable energy is energy that is consumed at insignificant rates compared to its supply and with manageable collateral effects, especially environmental effects (World Energy Outlook, 2000). Another common definition of sustainable energy is an energy system that serves the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (Kartha & Leach, 2001).

Most of these technologies are either economically competitive or close to being so. Increasingly, effective government policies support investor confidence and these markets are expanding. Considerable progress is being made in the energy transition from fossil fuels to ecologically sustainable systems, to the point where many studies support 100% renewable energy (Bolinger, Wiser and Golove, 2001).

Renewable energy technologies are essential contributors to sustainable energy as they generally contribute to world energy security, reducing dependence on fossil fuel resources, and providing opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gases (Gawell, Reed, Wright, 2009).

Renewable energy technology has sometimes been seen as a costly luxury item by critics, and affordable only in the affluent developed world. This erroneous view has persisted for many years, but 2015 was the first year when investment in non-hydro renewables, was higher in developing countries, with $156 billion invested (European Union, 2007).

Hassing & Varming (2001) suggest that most developing countries have abundant renewable energy resources, including solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, and biomass, as well as the ability to manufacture the relatively labor-intensive systems that harness these. By developing such energy sources developing countries can reduce their dependence on oil and natural gas, creating energy portfolios that are less vulnerable to price rises. In many circumstances, these investments can be less expensive than fossil fuel energy systems (European Commission, 2001).

In isolated rural areas, electricity grid extensions are often not economical. Off‐grid renewable technologies provide a sustainable and cost‐effective alternative to the diesel generators that would be otherwise be deployed in such areas. Renewable technologies can also help to displace other unsustainable energy sources such as kerosene lamps and traditional biomass (Hall, Rosillo-Calle, Williams and Woods, 2003).

Renewable energy can be particularly suitable for developing countries. In rural and remote areas, transmission and distribution of energy generated from fossil fuels can be difficult and expensive. Producing renewable energy locally can offer a viable alternative.

Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in southern Africa with one of the best conditions for solar pv worldwide. Zimbabwe imports 41% of its power and has an estimated deficit of 2GW in generating capacity. In order to accelerate economic development in the country, and to decrease reliance on energy imports, Zimbabwe is attracting investors into its energy infrastructure (Bronicki, 2002).

Thus, this study seeks to investigate the record keeping and accountability in entities active in the renewable energy sector.



To read entire paper, click here



About the Authors


Rejoice Mandizvidza

Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)
Masvingo, Zimbabwe


Rejoice Mandizvidza
is a technical financial accountant of the Institute of   Certified Bookkeeper South Africa (S.A.)   She has a Master’s degree in Applied   Accounting ( Midlands State University), Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (Great Zimbabwe University) she also holds a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (Masvingo Polytechnic). Rejoice worked as a Provincial Accounts clerk at Zimbabwe National   Family Planning Council. She joined Great Zimbabwe University in January 2006 as a Chief in the Central Service Department in August 2013 she joined the Bursary Department where she worked in the Students Accounts. She joined the Munhumutapa School of Commerce as a Lecturer in the Accounting and Information Systems Department. Currently, she is a finalist PhD Accounting Science student with University of South Africa (UNISA). Rejoice can be contacted at [email protected]


Benias Mapepeta (Dr) 

Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU)
Masvingo Campus
Masvingo, Zimbabwe


Benias Mapepeta
(Dr) has a Graduate Diploma in Information Processing and an Advanced Diploma in Systems Analysis. With a Bsc – Social Sciences from University of Zimbabwe he also holds a Post Grad – Analysis and Planning Development Projects from Oslo University (Norway) and another Post Grad – Managing Sustainable Development Projects from the In Mcdonald Associates done at Sussex university, UK. He also holds an MBA – Strategic Planning from Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) and a PhD – Project, Programme and Portfolio Management from Cranefield College (South Africa. He has more than 20 years of experience in Project Management and has published three books on Management and Sustainability of which he also has published more than 30 research articles with various journals and co-published and collaborated in many others.

He is a member of Project Management South Africa and Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe. An accomplished Lecturer and Conference Presenter, he has designed and is working on establishing a Bsc- Project management Programme and an Msc – Project Management Programme with Great Zimbabwe University in Affiliation with Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe. He is a Peer Reviewer of several Academic Journals and a Lecturer at various Universities and Institutions of Higher Education. Whilst currently he is Project, Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, Dr Mapepeta is free lancing in his field of expertise working on various projects and publications.

Dr. Mapepeta can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Benias Mapepeta, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-benia-mapepeta/