Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Brigadier General Emeldah Chola says the commissioned 120Megawatts Itezhi-Tezhi hydro power project and the 300Megawatts at Maamba thermal power plant have resulted in the reduction of power deficit from 1,000 Megawatts in 2015 to about 300Megawatts.
Speaking at a workshop on “Energy Efficiency Quick-Win Actions” initiative funded by the European Union (EU) at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, Brig Gen Chola said government was pushing for the completion of more projects to completely end load-shedding.
“Government has already pushed for the completion of new power projects by commissioning the 120Megawatts Itezhi-Tezhi hydro power project and the 300Megawatts at Maamba thermal power plant. These have resulted in the reduction of power deficit from 1,000Megawatts in 2015 to about 300Megawatts at the end of 2016,” Brig Gen Chola said.
“You may recall that in 2015, we were being loadshed up to six to eight hours. This has tremendously reduced to a maximum of four hours. In some places we are not being loadshed for the past few months.”
And Chola added that the use of energy saving bulbs has helped the country to conserve power.
“As a short term response to the country’s power deficit, the government issued Statutory Instrument (SI) number 74 of 2016 which banned importation and local manufacturing of incandescent bulbs. This has also helped save energy,” said Brig Gen Chola.
And the EU Head of Delegation to Zambia Alessandro Mariani said the country could learn from the European Union’s experience. His speech was read on his behalf by head of the energy sector at the EU mission.
“Of course we don’t have precise answers to these questions but looking at the European Union were the energy efficiency has been put at the heart of the EU energy policy, it is reported that for every 1% improvement in energy efficiency, gas imports fell by 2.6%,” said Mariani.
“For your information, gas is very important and one of the primary energy sources used for power generation in Europe.”
Mariani observed that energy efficiency could help address the current power deficit situation in Zambia. He said a solar water heating system installed in a family house, replacing a standard 2Kw electric kettle could save up to 90% of the energy consumed.
“Another example, painting a roof with cool-roof paint saves 17% of energy used for air-conditioning in a two-storey building,” he said. “Replacing an older 5KW mortar with a new one with reasonable efficiency standards saves 10%. And finally, when it comes to street lighting, installing energy street light lamps with a control of illumination level can save even up to 70% of the standard energy consumption,” said Mariani.