ZESCO has accelerated its power generation expansion projects which have resulted in a surplus of 1,156.8 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity, Managing Director Victor Mapani has said.
This was after the commissioning of 600 mw from four generators with the capacity of 150 MW each, from the 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower power station.
“As a result, the current installed national generation capacity stands at 3,456.8 MW against a peak national demand of approximately 2,300 MW.” he said.
Mr Mapani said yesterday in a speech read on his behalf by Director Transmission, Operations and Trade Justine Longo, at the launch of the Energy Week, that Zesco also expected to commission the last 150 MW machine by November this year which would bring the total generation to 750 MW.
He said the availability of reliable and adequate energy was an important driving force for development and a key enabler for the productivity and industrial growth of the economy.
Zambia’s main economic sectors like mining, agriculture, tourism and trading among others, all depended on equitable and secure access to sustainable, clean and reliable electricity.
He said the theme “Promoting sustainable, clean and reliable energy for a better Zambia” resonated with the utility’s strategic objectives which spoke to among other deliverables -to expand its power transmission network; increase generation capacity and promote sustainable economic development and provide climate resilient solutions to energy demands.
“Zesco’s clean energy credentials that stands at over 90 per cent of its energy resources being hydro based, confirms the corporation’s commitment to promote sustainable, clean and reliable energy for a better Zambia,” he said.
He also said that ZESCO’s planned investment in solar generation was aimed at augmenting the already existing initiatives such as the Get Fit Zambia, which was expected to deliver 120 MW of power from six different solar PV projects by next year.
He said for a start, ZESCO would on its own, develop 250-MW of solar PV schemes and later seek partnerships with private players for another 250 MW solar scheme and the rest would be 100 per cent private of which 120 MW had already been taken away by Get Fit Zambia.
Mr Mapani said the company had also commenced working on a roadmap that would see electric motor vehicle charging points and stations dotted around the country in order to facilitate the reduction of huge transportation cost and minimize the carbon footprint associated with fossil fuels in mitigating climate change conditions.
Minister of Energy Permanent Secretary Himbe Cheelo said there was need to promote renewable energy because even if hydro-power was renewable it was susceptible to climate change effects.
Ms Cheelo said power access in Zambia remained low at 34 per cent out of which 75 per cent was for those in urban areas.
Meanwhile, the Government has called for energy sources diversification to meet modem and global trends as climate change rakes havoc to economies.
Speaking during the opening of the 2022 Energy Week in Kitwe yesterday, Kitwe Mayor Mpasa Mwaya said Zambia’s electricity generation is dominated by hydro power, contributing around 81 per cent.
“This compromises security of energy supply as hydro is vulnerable to effects of climate change,” Ms Mwaya said.
She said there was a need to promote renewable and alternative sources of energy while encouraging energy efficiency and conservation practices.
She said the benefits of energy efficiency were immense as it includes the reduction in electricity bills for consumers.