The Zambian Government has recently announced that it is planning to triple the power generation capacity in the country within the next two years with photovoltaic energy, due to the recent power shortages that are undermining copper mining.
The announcement was done by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director General Patrick Chisanga, whom in an interview with Reuters explained that Zambia expects to triple its power generation from the current 1,967 MW of installed capacity to about 6,000 MW, through the implementation of photovoltaic projects by investors from Germany and Italy whose names have not been disclosed yet.
The project is part of the program Power Africa launched by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which seeks to expand and scale out the generation capacity in the Sub Saharan region by promoting the shifting from hydro-powered plants to new ones using renewable energy.
According to Reuters, in Zambia virtually all the installed capacity is based on hydropower. This is why the recent larger droughts have brought irregular electricity supplies to the copper producers.
This has helped the Zambian Government to realize the importance of the diversification on power generation in order to reach levels that can support the economic development that the country needs, Chisanga explained.
According to ZDA, Zambia would soon receive USD 500 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) to immediately add 400 MW of capacity in a location that has not been disclosed yet.
According to USAID, Zambia would bring an additional of 2,000 MW by the end of 2016 with its support and a total investment of USD 1.2 million, which is part of a USD 5.8 million bilateral agreement focused on diversifying power generation and raise the rural access to electricity from the current 3%.