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IFC To Support First Utility-scale Solar Power Plants In Zambia

The International Finance Corporation will assist Zambia to set up two of its first utility-scale solar power projects in an attempt to help the African country deal with an electricity shortage.

Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) recently signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to set up two solar PV power plants of 50 MW capacity each. IDC has been assigned the task to set up 600 MW solar power capacity to overcome the power deficit Zambia is facing: Zambia faces a 560 MW power deficit due to low hydropower generation affected by lower than expected rainfall.

The solar power projects will be installed to different locations and by different private developers. However, the IFC is expected to be fully engaged in their implementation through its Scaling Solar Initiative.

Zambia’s power sector has significant dependence on hydropower resources. With the changing weather patterns hydropower is not a very reliable source of electricity generation in Zambia. While the share of bioenergy has increased from 72% in 2001 to 80% in 2010 in Zambia’s primary energy production, the share of other renewable energy sources has actually reduced.

The IFC’s Scaling Solar Initiative, which plans to stimulate private sector investment in the Africa’s solar power market, would certainly make a significant impact in increasing solar power capacity in Zambia bringing some reliability and stability to its power sector.

 
 
 
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Written By

Smiti works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

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