Zambia turns to solar amidst power shortage

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In view of the current electricity supply chaos in the country, Zambian Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma has announced that the country will add 1,200 MW of solar power to the national grid. Yaluma made this official at a press conference to local Zambian media.

"The 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 a lot of IPPs for renewable energy, and they are just waiting to negotiate with us," Yaluma said.

Zambia is plagued by a grave electricity shortage at the moment. Zambian power company Zesco is seeing a 560 MW shortfall in electricity due to water levels falling at hydropower dams. The country depends on hydropower for more than 90% of its power supply, according to Bloomberg.

The government plans to open up a retail outlet at Zesco to allow easy public access to affordable solar appliances such as inverters. The reason for this is to combat the current situation where renewable energy products are being sold at very high prices by dealers.

At the moment, Zambia is importing electricity from Mozambique and are in talks with other stakeholders who have extra power to supply to the country.