Friday, November 06, 2009

UNIDO advises govt on renewable energy

UNIDO advises govt on renewable energy
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 06 Nov. 2009, 04:00 CAT

UNITED Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) director Pradeep Monga yesterday advised the government to put in place policies that will attract private sector investments in renewable sources of energy to supplement the national power grid.

In an interview after laying a foundation stone for the development of the Shiwang'andu mini hydro-power project in Chinsali, Dr Monga said the energy sector was important in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) and the attainment of national economic development.

“The future in renewable energy is bright and Zambia stands to benefit in improving lives and the capacity is readily available in biomass and solar aspects and this sector can supplement the national electricity grid but most importantly is to have good policies in place to attract the private sector,” Dr Monga said. “National power grid is important and it is a requirement but we need to develop alternatives to supplement it.”

He said UNIDO was working to address industrial competitiveness and developing renewable energy-based mini hydro power stations that would replace the diesel powered generators.

“Zesco Limited and the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) are our major partners and together we are developing the Shiwang'andu project that will produce one mega watt, the Bio Mass project in Kaputa also will generate one mega watt and the solar project at Samfya which will also produce one mega watt,” Dr Monga said. “We are also looking at building capacity in the Ministry of Energy, Zesco, REA and other institutions in order to ensure that projects are successful.”

Dr Monga urged the private sector to utilise the US $2 million financing facility being disbursed by the Development Bank of Zambia for the purpose of developing renewable energy projects.

The three mini hydro projects would cost over US $8 million with US $3 million being a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) while the remainder will come as co-financing from the project partners.

The Shiwang'andu project would be commissioned during the first quarter of 2011 and then, the projects would be implemented across the country.

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