Editor's Comment

Alternative sources of energy will avert disaster

GOVERNMENT’S continuous search for alternative sources of energy to avert a potential disaster owing to the nation-wide load-shedding is greatly commended.
The current load-shedding that Zambia is experiencing is a wake-up call as it is an indication that now is the time to find fall-back mechanisms as well as to exploit other available sources of energy.
With or without water at the country’s hydro-electricity generation stations, Zambia must move with the times and tap power from non-traditional sources like nuclear, wind and solar energy.
Because of this great danger of slipping into total darkness, the government has gone flat-out to ensure that the electricity situation is normalised.
Energy is life. The world at large is still investing billions of dollars to improve the efficiency of other sources of power and a host of alternatives are now available on the market.
It is gratifying to note that Zambia is already courting temporary power solutions companies and one such firm will be adding to the country’s national grid 148 megawatts of electricity which will be channelled to local consumers through the Mozambique electricity supply company, EDM.
Zambia and Aggreko Plc, the world’s largest temporary power generation company, recently signed a multi-billion dollar electricity supply deal which will see the country add 148 megawatts to the national grid and reduce the deficit to 412 megawatts from 560 megawatts.
The supply of 148 megawatts of power to Zambia’s national grid by Aggreko is a welcome development. However, with a 412-megawatt deficit remaining, Government and the private sector should work together to ensure more players are added in the electricity generation industry.
Another global temporary power solutions company, Energyst, has sent representatives to Zambia and we hope that the discussions the firm will have with government and other stakeholders will be successful. The representatives, who are already in the country, are from the Energyst’s South African office.
The government should be supported in its efforts to find ways of ending the power shortage in the country. Zambia should invite companies from China, United States, France, United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea to come and invest in mining uranium and subsequently invest in nuclear power stations for domestic application and Zambia’s worries over energy supply will be history.
On solar, the United States, Spain, France, Australia, Belgium, United Kingdom, India and Czech Republic are, in that sequence, leaders in solar technology and they, too, can be invited to come and set up businesses in Zambia.
Wind power is another alternative into which the government should invite companies to invest. With their 2014 wind power generation capacities in megawatts in brackets, China: (114,763MW), United States (65,879MW), Germany (39,165MW), Spain (22,987MW), India (22,465MW), United Kingdom (12,440MW), Canada (9,694MW), France (9,285MW), Italy (8,663MW), and Brazil (5,939MW) are global market leaders.
The Department of Meteorology can help us identify parts of Zambia with the strongest winds and for how long they last.
Our survival will depend on how we interact commercially on the world arena because, like water, energy is life. The application of electricity affects every aspect of human endeavour.

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