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PMRC calls for policy to develop renewable energy

THE Policy and Monitoring Research Centre (PMRC) has urged Government to establish a policy tool to encourage the development of renewable energy technologies in view of the current power deficit.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka said Zambia has not fully utilised its renewable and non-renewable energy sources to improve the attractiveness of the sector and transfer the benefit for industrial expansion, employment creation and poverty reduction.
In a statement issued to the Daily Mail yesterday, Ms Deka said feed-in-tariffs, which is an energy supply policy that promotes rapid development of renewable energy will help subsidise renewable energy generation thereby, making them cost-effective.
She said using well designed policies and stronger institutions will also encourage renewable energy producers sell their products to the national grid, provided that the revenue collected helps cover the cost and interest payments.
“PMRC recognises that there have been insufficient incentives for the private sector investments in the energy industry due to lack of renewable energy feed-in-tariff and prevailing non cost-reflective electricity tariffs. Due to the unattractive tariffs, the Zambian electricity sector is largely dominated by Zesco Limited through the single buyer model.
“PMRC recommends that Government should urgently develop a renewable energy plan that will guide the development and implementation of renewable energy sources to provide a rich energy mix for Zambia. To this effect, Government should scale up investment in non-hydro power sources in view of Zesco Limited’s frequent load shedding across the country,” she said.
Ms Deka said Government through Zesco Limited should urgently expedite and strengthen infrastructure in capacity generation, transmission and distribution of energy for the country to achieve sustainable business and support economic growth.