Struggling to meet increasing power demand, the Zambian government has announced plans to develop 1.2 GW worth of solar power capacity in the country.
The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development has announced that the Zambian Government will facilitate the development of 1.2 GW worth of solar power capacity by August, 2016. The capacity would enable the government to meet rising energy demand and reduce dependence on imported electricity.
Zambia currently faces a power deficit of 650 MW and is importing power from neighbouring Mozambique. The government also plans to import power from South Africa in the near future.
The government claims that several independent power producers has approached it to set up solar power projects at competitive rates. Negotiations in the tariffs are expected to begin soon.
Zambia has received support for the development of a solar power sector from other countries and international financial agencies. Recently, the International Finance Corporation pledged to provide debt financing to two solar power projects with 50 MW capacity each. The projects will be set up by Industrial Development Corporation Zambia, which has been tasked to set up 600 MW of solar power capacity to bridge the power supply-demand gap.
Recently, French energy minister Segolene Royal promised assistance to Zambia for setting up solar power projects in rural areas. France can provide swift financial support for the development of decentralized solar power projects in villages, Royal said during an official visit to the country. Royal encouraged the Zambian government to develop its Green Climate Plan so that banks can offer financial assistance to renewable energy and other sustainability projects.
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