ABN – The Zambian government has announced plans to develop 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity in order to meet growing power demand.
The new capacity will be added within the next year, before August 2016, filling the country’s 650-megawatt power deficit.
Zambia is currently struggling to fill the deficit by importing power from Mozambique, and it is planning to import power from South Africa in the near future.
According to the country’s Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, it has already been approached by several independent power producers keen to set up solar power plants at competitive rates.
Several external sources have offered to support Zambia in achieving its renewable energy goals, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the French government.
The IFC has pledged to provide debt financing for two 50-megawatt solar projects being developed by Industrial Development Corporation Zambia, which will develop 600 megawatts of solar capacity overall.
On a recent trip to Zambia, France’s energy minister Segolene Royal said the French government would help Zambia to set up solar power projects in rural areas by providing financial support.