The Zambian Government is in the final stages in the development of a comprehensive feed-in tariff regime for renewable energy projects.
The Zambian Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development has been working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for over a year to develop the feed-in tariff program. The Zambian Department of Energy, and the Energy Regulation Board also had a crucial role in the development of the program.
Through this program, the government hopes to significantly increase the amount of electricity it can procure from independent small-scale solar power producers. Zambia has ample renewable energy resource potential in wind, solar, and small hydro technologies but this potential remains largely untapped. The new feed-in tariff program aims to make it much more attractive for investors to develop renewable energy projects.
Several international developers and financial institutions are looking to invest in small-scale and utility-scale solar power projects in African countries.
Zambia, too, has announced an ambitious plan to expand its solar power capacity. Last month, the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development 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 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.
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