Zambia Invests $2 Billion Into Energy Sector

Zambia Invests $2 Billion into Energy Sector (News Central TV)

According to Zambian authorities, their country intends to invest $2 billion in its energy sector to alleviate power disruptions brought by by low water levels at Zimbabwe’s Kariba hydropower facility, which supplies electricity to both countries.

12-hour power outages have been occurring in Zambia and Zimbabwe since December, when water levels at the Kariba hydropower project reached an all-time low.

According to experts, both countries rely heavily on Lake Kariba for their hydroelectric demands. President Hakainde Hichilema’s administration has taken steps to alleviate power outages in his country, while President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s country is lagging behind.

Zambia aims to invest $2 billion in its energy sector, according to Peter Chibwe Kapala, Minister of Energy, which will produce extra power that will be transferred to surrounding countries.

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“Solar will play a bigger role so that in times of drought, we could use less water to generate (electricity),” said Kapala.

“During the daytime, I want to generate more from solar and export more on hydro because it doesn’t fluctuate that much,” he added.

Independent Renewable Energy consultant Tendayi Marowa backed the stance made by Kapala’s ministry.

“The use of solar energy, be it solar PV for electricity or solar thermal for water heating, can actually reduce the demand for electricity considerably. So the residential area must be encouraged to install solar panels on their roofs,” said Marowa.

Marowa also asked the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments to construct more hydropower facilities along the Zambezi River, which divides the two countries, upstream of Kariba Dam.

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Kariba Dam

The chief executive of the Zambezi River Authority, which oversees Kariba Dam, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, said that Marowa’s project would produce about 14,000 megawatts of energy annually on the river.

“So, of that 14,000 (megawatts), we have only managed to come up with 2,130 megawatts- that is at Kariba,” said Munodawafa.

“So we are left with another 12,000 (megawatts), which we can put across so that whether there is climate change or no climate change, the two countries won’t be affected in terms of the load,” he added.

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