Lusaka, Zambia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 04 November 2011 – Zambian energy minister Chris Yaluma says that the concept of mini hydro-power stations will be vital for attaining the 2030 goal of electrifying rural Zambia, and adds that the power from these plants will come in handy.
Delivering an address here, Yaluma pointed out that there was too much load on the national power grid, especially with growth in the mines and various businesses.
“The load on the national electricity grid is too much and there is a need to relieve it. So if we are to meet the 2030 target, we have to work on our mini hydro-stations “’ we must accelerate the feasibility studies for these mini hydro stations,” he said.
Yaluma went on to say that electricity was no longer a luxury for rural areas but a necessity for all Zambians, and power needed to be delivered to all corners of the country. He added that while there were a number of projects to increase generation capacity at the major stations, the increase in power would be absorbed by the rise in mining and business activities.
He also called on the Renewable Energy Association (REA) to explore other forms of cleaner energies like the solar power, which could go a long way in supporting conventional hydro-electric power in the country.
Acting REA chief executive officer Francis Mulenga said the institution was up to the task of electrifying rural Zambia, adding that it had started working with Zesco to see how the mini hydro-stations could be boosted. While the institution was faced with numerous challenges like how to retain skilled staff, it was committed to delivering power to all parts of the country.