The University of Zambia (UNZA) has announced plans to spend nearly USD 250,000 to re-establish a solar applied energy laboratory through the Energy, Environment and Research Group (EERG) to promote the increased use of solar energy, particularly in remote rural areas of the country.
The EERG is an inter-disciplinary academic department that functions as a part of the department of physics at UNZA and focuses on research and solutions to energy, environment and climate issues.
According Prem Jain, head of the EERG, the objective of the new solar energy lab is to generate university graduates capable of working to further grow and develop the solar energy industry in Zambia.
“As a department we think solar technology is now fairly mature and cost effective hence the need to prepare students well to make a positive contribution to the industry,” he said in a recent presentation to the Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ).
Prof. Jain went on to explain that Zambia is currently faced with an electricity deficit particularly in the rural areas, but solar technologies are capable of providing services including solar grid feed-in, off-grid, mini grid, solar micro systems (solar lanterns), and solar heating to customers in Zambia, thereby increasing access to electricity across the country.