BUSINESS REPORTER writes
ZESCO should be commended for its proactive stance in managing the projected energy deficit across the sectors, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) vice president Austin Mwange.
Dr. Mwange, said the EAZ acknowledged the systemic effects of drought across the Southern African region as a consequence of climate change effects, resulting in below average rainfall in areas where the Zambezi and the Kafue rivers flow hence impacting power generation capacity negatively.
He said timely stakeholder engagement was a proactive step ZESCO had taken to enable for predictable business planning.
He said the engagement carried out by the power utility in Lusaka, and Copperbelt provinces would allow for predictable business planning across the industry, thereby enabling players to equip themselves with backup energy supplements.
Dr. Mwange said much as a load management was disruptive to operations of businesses, the approach ZESCO had taken would ensure that effects of predictable outages are managed appropriately.
He said the openness in information dissemination would curb speculation thereby managing uncertainty in a much better way.
Zambia was on a growth trajectory that entailed rising demand for power which was forecast to rise to 3,000 MW by 2021 and by 2030 to climb higher to 3,525 MW.
There was therefore need to widen additional supply through increased investment in well diversified energy sources.
He explained that the exponential and sustainable increase in demand for electricity was due to growth in economic activities that Zambia had been experiencing and would continue to experience.
Dr. Mwange said Zambia therefore has no choice to finding solutions that will provide sustainable, clean and affordable energy supply as the economy continues to grow.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mwange has called for aggressive diversification in energy investment so as to hedge against hydrological risks of over-dependence on water for power generation.
He said energy bottlenecks vividly signaled the need to increase investment in the sector which provides funding opportunities for investment partners.