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Paving the Way for Energy Efficiency through Solar Power Projects in Zambia( Vol-2,Issue-3,May 2016 )


Shadreck Mpanga, Mwansa Kaoma, Ackim Zulu


Energy efficiency, climate change, households, industries, solar energy.


At present, there is great pressure to meet the national electrical energy demand on the existing power system network in Zambia. The situation has been made worse due to reduced rainfall received in recent years as the country has mostly depended on hydroelectricity generation for many years. The 2015-2016 rain season saw little trickling of precipitation too due to the El Niño effect, with results of reduced rainfall over much of Southern Africa. In addition, the 2015 hot dry season turned out to be the hottest season Zambia had ever experienced, and led to high evaporation losses from open surface water bodies. This resulted in load shedding across the country thereby affecting households, business houses and the mining operations. All these are consequences of climate change. In harmony with the historic climate agreement adopted in Paris on December 12, 2015, this paper reviews how solar energy can help mitigate the effects of climate change and thus contribute to the national electricity mix in Zambia by increasing the power flow in the existing infrastructure as far as possible. By means of a comparative study, the merits and demerits of using photovoltaic technology for large scale electricity generation in Zambia are highlighted. In light of this, the potential of solar energy to contribute towards industrial energy efficiency in Zambia is assessed. The paper also advocates for increased research on renewable energy technologies.

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