THE German government has allocated €31 million to its development bank, KfW, to help Zambia implement the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT) Strategy, which will accelerate the development of renewable energy.
The funding to be provided to the GET FiT programme, a project that is designed to assist the Zambian government promote diversification of the power sector, is expected to go towards tariff support, grid integration for some projects, and other technical assistance.
GET FiT Zambia is a collaborative programme led by Government with the support of Zesco Limited, Energy Regulation Board, African Trade Insurance Agency, KfW, among others.
GET FiT Zambia coordinator Will Pearson said the development will also result in bringing of about 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to the grid in the next five to seven years.
Mr Pearson said on Friday at the just-ended Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition that the REFiT strategy, is currently awaiting Government approval.
“Once the programme is officially launched, KfW is expected to partner with other donors to increase the overall funding,” he said.
Mr Pearson also said the programme will also result in the development of 50MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, which will be developed by the private sector in various parts of the country under an initiative similar to the World Bank-supported scaling- up solar programme.
Last year, President Lungu commissioned construction works for the US$1.2 billion solar power plants in Lusaka under the auspices of the Industrial Development Corporation and supported by the World Bank.
Contracts have since been awarded to Neoen and Enel to develop 100 MW in the first phase of the scaling- up solar project, with World Bank president Jim Yong Kim describing the project as a perfect example of how public-private partnerships (PPP) can help in advancing the provision of energy at the price of only US$.06 [cents] a kilowatt hour, which is very low especially in Africa.
Mr Pearson said GET Fit will begin the programme with a 50MW solar PV tender and will use a reverse auction similar to scaling solar.
But project developers will choose their own sites subject to any grid constraints to be indicated by Zesco.
“The programme targets the development of small- to medium-scale independent power producer projects between 1-20MW. Subsequent tenders will call for other technologies including hydro, biomass and geothermal,’’ he said.