German consulting firm, Dr. Thomas Hillig Energy Consulting (THEnergy), has recently released an analysis about the good potential of Solar-Diesel Hybrid Micro/Off grids for energy investors in Zambia.
The analysis, titled “Momentum for Solar-Diesel Hybrid Microgrids in the Zambian Mining Industry”, shows that investment conditions in solar energy have now become more attractive than few years ago.
As consequence of the power crisis that hurt mining production in 2015, companies and government took emergency measures at high costs to meet their electricity demand, the analysis indicates.
Load shedding and power outages made mining companies to see their power generation rates rise from less than USD2c to USD10.35 per Kw-h in 2016, the analysis reads.
Therefore, a recent tender by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) for two 50 MW solar power plant s with rates at USD6.02c and USD7.84c per Kw-h brought cheaper alternatives for the mining industry.
Zambia counts with excellent sun irradiation and it is reflected on its electricity prices from photovoltaic (PV) sources, THEnergy Founder Dr Thomas Hillig explained.
These tariffs are competitive against any type of power source and in the form of solar-diesel hybrid micro/off grids, represent an advantage not only in price but also in reliable power supply, Dr. Hillig added.
Zambia currently counts with the cheapest PV power tariffs in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) according to the IDC.
The American NEOEN S.A.S./First Solar Inc. and the Italian Enel Green Power are the companies shortlisted by the IDC to develop the first PV power plants in Zambia.
THEnergy and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will keep promoting the development of PV projects in Zambia and other key markets in Africa.
This is part of the Project Development Programme (PDP) and the German Energy Solutions (GES) initiative undertook in 2002 by both institutions.
The PDP and GES initiative is currently active in Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, and Tanzania.