Solar Booming In Zambia

Country Overview

The Republic of Zambia in Southern Africa is bordered by Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. The population of Zambia is approximately 20.57 million people.

In 2022, Zambia’s economy was ranked 102nd in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is based on the export of raw copper, refined copper, gold, and precious stones.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Zambia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 25% greenhouse gas emissions cut in 2030, compared to business as usual.

In 2019, Zambia’s Ministry of Energy announced the National Energy Policy, which is designed to promote clean energy technologies, energy efficiency, and increase access to energy services in urban areas of the country.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, only 46.7 % of the people in Zambia had access to electricity.  In 2021, Zambia’s power companies used renewable energy (92.2%), coal (4.9%), and refined petroleum (2.9%)  to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Zambia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Zambia include:

  • 200 MW Solar Project – In November 2023, U.S. renewable energy company, Ultra Green Corporation commissioned the Serenje Solar Power Station at a site approximately 230 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Lusaka.
  • 54 MW Solar Project – In March 2019, French power company Neoen commissioned the Bangweulu Solar Power Station at a site approximately 15 miles southeast of Lusaka.
  • 34 MW Solar Project – In April 2019, Italian utility Enel commissioned the Ngonye Solar Power Station at a site approximately 10 miles southeast of Lusaka.
  • 25 MW Solar Project – In December 2023, Zambian renewable energy company, Africa GreenCo and Serbian company, Ilute Solar commissioned the Ilute Solar Photovoltaic project at a site approximately 250 miles southwest of Lusaka.
  • 5 MW Solar Mini Grid Projects – French company Engie Energy Access is continuing work to build sixty off-grid mini solar projects, which will provide electricity to more than 40,000 people in rural areas of Zambia.

 

Conclusions

Zambia imports refined petroleum and coal for transportation and power generation. Zambia also imports petroleum-based fertilizers for agriculture. In 2021, Zambia imported U.S. $600 Million of refined petroleum and U.S. $278 Million of petroleum-based fertilizers.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Zambia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, which could easily replace the coal and oil fueled power plants that generated only 7.8% of Zambia’s electricity in 2021. Zambia is now developing solar projects to provide electricity to the rural areas of the nation and to eliminate the use of expensive fossil fuels. Solar is booming in Zambia, providing clean, green, and low-cost electricity.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

 

 

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