The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development joined private sector companies and civil society organizations at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel to mark the final stages in the development of Zambia’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) mechanism.
Over the past 14-months USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, the Zambian Department of Energy, and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), in collaboration with multiple energy sector stakeholders, including the Rural Electrification Authority and ZESCO, worked together to produce an inclusive policy document and develop a platform for the REFIT.
“Endowed with abundant sunshine and water resources, Zambia has excellent potential to provide enough clean energy for the country’s growing needs, and even for export, but getting there will require greater private sector investment,” said U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Mr. Eric Schultz.
“Through the Power Africa Initiative, first announced by President Obama in 2013, our government is committed to continuing to support efforts to develop clean renewable power, and to achieve energy security for all Zambians.”
The adoption of an effective REFIT policy and finalization of the REFIT regulations will enable the Zambian Government to buy renewable energy from small-scale independent power producers at pre-determined prices. A successful REFIT mechanism will also help reduce price volatility and increase renewable energy uptake in Zambia.
Zambia is endowed with a wide range of energy resources particularly solar, biomass, hydro, and other renewable sources that are still largely untapped. Renewable energy development has great potential to help meet growing demand for electricity. The REFIT mechanism will help create an enabling environment for both the public and private sectors to invest in renewable energy expansion in Zambia.
USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub’s clean energy assistance in Zambia and the region works to improve regional capacity for energy sector policymaking and implementation, to develop regulatory frameworks for private sector participation in energy generation, and to increase private sector investment in clean energy generation and transmission.