By BUSINESS REPORTER
GOVERNMENT is committed to the integration of various renewable energy options such as wind and solar into the national electricity grid to ensure minimal disruption of power supply in Zambia, says Minister of Energy, Matthews Nkhuwa.
Mr Nkhuwa said having a rich power generation mix was cardinal considering the power deficit Zambia experienced in 2015 and 2016 on account of the drought where 99 percent of electricity was from hydro power.
Mr Nkhuwa was speaking in Paris, France where he led a Zambian delegation, attending an International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE) 2018 high level energy conference.
He further explained that with implementation of an effective mix of power generation, the high costs associated with the importation of power as experienced during the 2015/2016 saga could be avoided.
“This would help free up resources to benefit socio-economic development in the country,” said Mr Nkhuwa.
And Mr Nkhuwa described Zambia’s participation at the CIGRE 2018 as crucial as Zambia wanted to take advantage of the knowledge including opportunities from interacting and engaging with the captains of industry, equipment manufacturers and various professionals of new developments and best practices.
“Zambia is not an island but part of the wider global village and hence issues affecting our country are not just unique to Zambia,
“This is a biggest opportunity to interact with experts in the industry so that we can tap knowledge that will benefit the citizenry and not forgetting key issues being discussed such as dilemma of affordability, reliability and sustainability of electricity being delivered to the customers,” he said
CIGRE, which was headquartered in France, was formed in 1921 and has grown to establish a collaborative global community of the world’s leading knowledge and expertise in power systems. The international leading event for Power System industry has gathered Government leaders, the private sector and world experts to discuss and learn about the future of the industry for the whole value chain, from generation to distribution.
The programme for this year’s session includes: Conferences, Group Discussion Meetings, Tutorials, a Technical Exhibition and Networking events.
The Minister is accompanied by ZESCO Managing Director Mr. Victor Mundende, Director Transmission Mr. Webster Musonda and Senior Manager Corporate Affairs Mr. Patrick Mwila including energy ministry officials.