ZIO MWALE, Lunga
THE Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has commenced its first study on the viability of wind energy resource in Lunga district in
Luapula Province to enhance the provision of energy in rural areas.
REA corporate affairs manager Justine Mukosa said in an interview that Lunga will be the first district to access the wind energy system before rolling out the programme to other rural parts of the country.
Mr Mukosa said the renewable energy project will hit the ground running once the study establishes that the wind energy resource could effectively help to cushion the power deficit the country is grappling with.
He said the authority endeavours to exploit the abundant renewable energy resources available in every part of the country to increase access to electricity and empower the rural population.
“Wind energy is a clean, renewable energy source and offers many advantages, which explains why it’s one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world. We have used grid extension projects, mini-hydro power stations, and solar energy projects. Now we are trying to use wind energy,” he said.
Mr Mukosa said the wind energy assessment and REA will ensure that it introduces new energy sources that will improve people’s lives in rural areas.
“The rural electrification programme will go on until all rural areas in Zambia have been electrified by either the extension of the national grid or other forms of energy sources between now and 2030,” he said.
“As a way of contributing to Zambia’s economic growth through the provision of solar power, REA has developed a number of sustainable renewable energy sources that include the grid extension projects, mini-hydro power stations and solar energy projects,” Mr Mukosa said.
He said the study is expected to be completed in March next year and reaffirmed REA’s commitment to supplementing Government’s efforts to diversify the energy sector.
“Our main role is to provide electricity infrastructure to all rural areas for increased access to electricity in order to contribute to improved productivity and improved quality of all Zambians,” Mr Mukosa said.
He said REA is also undertaking a number of feasibility studies for the development of mini-hydro power stations in Kasanjiku Falls in Mwinilungu district, Chikata Falls in Kabompo district and at Chilinga Falls in Nyimba.