20 September 2010 – It is reported that Zambia and seven other countries in the Southern and East African economic blocs will receive more than eight million euros from Finland for part financing of feasibility studies on Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) programme aimed at increasing access to sustainable energy to help mitigate climate change.

The programme was established to achieve an increased use of renewable energy sources to assist fight climate change, which Southern and East African countries hold in abundance, media reports said.

Finish ambassador to Zambia, Sinikka Antila said the programme provides financing for pilot and demonstration projects. Enhancing usage of renewable energy is important for climate change mitigation.

‘As it seems inevitable that energy consumption will increase all over the world, especially in developing and emerging economies in the future, we must not rely only on traditional energy sources,’ she said in Lusaka on September 14.

The EEP programme covers Zambia, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya and Botswana and is hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Finland is looking at widening the network of donor partners to fund the project. During the same occasion, Zambia’s Energy and Water Development deputy minister Mwendoi  Akakandelwa said one of the main objectives of EEP is to increase sustainable energy from renewable sources like solar, hydro, wind, biofuels and geothermal.

Akakandelwa said Zambia’s electricity supply is mainly from renewable sources and that about 98 percent of electricity is from hydro sources. There was need to explore and use other sources such as solar, wind, biofuels and geothermal renewable energy that holds great potential for Zambia as it contributes to the energy balance.

‘Renewable energy will create important opportunities for Zambia in terms of rural employment, access to energy services and information technology.

‘Above all, the development of renewable energy will greatly contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.’