BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
ABOUT US$27 million private capital has been mobilised by the World Bank to set up a scaling solar energy project in west Lunga and Ngonye area in Luapula province.
The bank is constructing a 75.7 MW generation capacity of energy in the two areas.
According to the World Bank profile projects for Zambia, there are two scaling solar projects in Zambia sponsored by Neon and Enel Green Power.
Under these projects, the bank said, the sponsors were implementing a 47.5 MW for West Lunga and 28.2 MW for Ngonye.
The bank indicated that construction of the two projects was expected to be completed by September.
“Through the scaling solar initiative, Zambia was able to achieve some of the lowers electricity tariffs ever witnesses for a solar PV project in Sub-Saharan Africa to date.
“As part of Government’s plans to procure 600 megawatts of solar PV capacity, a further round of scaling solar is under preparation for at least 200 megawatts of capacity, provided the government implements a clear roadmap to improve the sector’s financial situation,” said the bank.
Zambia, the bank said, needed to diversify its electricity generation resources to prepare for climate variability.
The bank isaid that the dominance of hydropower generation as the country’s main source of electricity made it vulnerable to hydrology and climate variation.
It said this was evident over the period 2014 to 2016 when the country experienced electricity shortages on account of lower than expected rainfall.
“Due to its geographical position and relatively high solar irradiation through much of the year, Zambia has substantial potential for integrating solar energy into its electricity generation mix,” said the bank.