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Zambia to add 1,200MW of solar power by August 2016

In Zambia, the minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said that the country expects to add 1,200MW of solar power to the national grid by August 2016, the Zambia Daily Mail reported.

On Saturday, Yaluma told the media that government is in the process of negotiating with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) to achieve a cost reflective tariff.

Yaluma said: “Government is putting in place measures that will sustain power in the country in case we do not have enough rainfall next year to generate electricity.

“Solar energy is coming into play. We have met [with] a lot of IPPs for renewable energy, and they are just waiting to negotiate with us.”

The southern African country is currently experiencing a power deficit of 560MW, which is having a negative impact on the country’s copper mine production—Zambia is the second largest copper producer on the continent.

Importing power

With attempts to bridge the power shortage, Yaluma said that government will be importing 100MW of power from Mozambique next month and an additional 60MW in December from South Africa.

Yaluma added:  “We are now importing 100MW from Mozambique, and we have advanced in talks with various stakeholders who have extra power to supply to us.

“Towards the end of December, we will import 60MW from South Africa, but this is private power, it does not belong to the utilities [Eskom].”

Accessible affordable power

According to Yaluma, the state knows of a few dealers that are selling renewable energy products at exorbitant prices, who are capitalising at the public’s expense.

In order to mitigate these actions, government will provide a retail outlet at the state-owned power company Zesco, supplying the public with affordable solar powered appliances, the Zambia Daily Mail reported.

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