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‘We need investors in alternative energy’

MUHANYA Solar Limited has called on Government to lure investors that have the capability of setting up factories to produce alternative sources of energy products in the advent of power deficit.
Company managing director Geoffrey Kaila said there is need to encourage more investment in the energy sector to boost industrialisation in the country.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Kaila said the company has been importing solar products such as batteries from abroad at a cost due to lack of basic elements needed in the industry.
He said the depreciation of the Kwacha has resulted in the prices of the goods increasing despite solar products being zero-rated.
“If Government can allow investors who are coming into the country to invest and set up manufacturing industries instead of those coming here to implement these solutions, it would be a good thing,” Mr Kaila said.
He said the company cannot immediately undertake a venture such as setting up a factory because it requires a lot of money.
“Such [a project] requires a lot of planning. Therefore, if Government can help the industry have these things manufactured locally, then we would make a huge difference and the price would really reduce and enable us to stop importing most of these things such as batteries because they will be locally made,” Mr Kaila said.
He said in Zambia, solar has always been considered as a minor sought of energy by most people but, it is now encouraging to witness a change in the mind-set of the public on solar-related products.
Mr Kaila bemoaned the huge knowledge gap on alternative sources of energy, especially for people living in urban areas.
“We need to do a lot as service providers to educate people on the advantages of using solar products as an alternative source of energy by helping them understand that they can use solar and come out of the hydro-grid,” he said.