Saturday, April 20, 2024

Energy Expert Optimistic About Overcoming Power Deficit in Zambia


Renowned energy expert, Johnstone Chikwanda, expressed optimism that Zambia’s anticipated power deficit this year could be the last, citing substantial investments attracted by the government in the energy sector.

Dr. Chikwanda attributed the recurring energy crises to inadequate planning and implementation of National Development Plans on energy diversification over the past 15 years. He drew parallels to the energy crisis experienced in 2015, urging all stakeholders to play their part in mitigating the deficit.

During a press briefing in Lusaka, Dr. Chikwanda proposed several measures to address the energy shortfall. He advocated for the introduction of a Statutory Instrument (SI) to restrict the importation or manufacturing of electric geysers for five to ten years, pushing for a shift to solar geysers. He further suggested increasing taxes on electric geysers to promote energy-efficient alternatives.

Dr. Chikwanda estimated that implementing the SI on electric geysers alone could save the country approximately 200 megawatts of power. He also called for incentives for consumers willing to switch from electric to solar geysers.

Additionally, Dr. Chikwanda urged government, the private sector, and domestic consumers to adopt energy-saving practices, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. He appealed to the Secretary to the Cabinet to issue a circular mandating this initiative in public institutions.

Furthermore, Dr. Chikwanda emphasized the importance of importers of renewable energy products passing on government incentives to consumers to make these products more affordable.

He concluded by asserting that implementing these measures could significantly reduce the planned 8-hour load shedding period. Dr. Chikwanda’s proposals offer a ray of hope for Zambia to overcome its energy challenges and ensure a more sustainable energy future.


  1. Unfortunately most of our experts don’t tackle inefficiency by Zesco whenever they advise on electricity. Last time Bwalya Ng’andu spent $20M to purchase 300MW of electricity for Eskom, Zesco was producing 1,500MW against the 2,200MW demand. Zesco’s transmission losses stand at 20% and we told Bwalya Ng’andu here that what he spent was just to cover Zesco’s transmission losses. CEC transmission losses stand at 2% and they were able to declare a dividend of the same amount in that year. LPM banned the filament bulbs for LED, RB promoted solar geysers but what effect have they had on the net electricity demand? It can’t be measured because Zesco doesn’t account for such things


  2. It appears we have 1000’s of experts with a string of degrees behind there name in Zambia today
    Unfortunately a degree without Common Sense and being able to think outside the box is meaningless
    there lies our problem we have bunch of Parrots

  3. Board members of Zesco should not be appointed by Partsan lines. Board members should be experts of the entity they are appointed. Zesco should have a Board consisting of experts and not only those whose main aim is to finish building their flats by the end of their term of office. Board members should help management to find a lasting solution to perrenial problems causing Load shedding perrenially. What expertise energy wise do the current Zesco Board members have? They should also self introspect and appraise themselves. But no. Just earn sitting allowances?

  4. We’ve abdicated the responsibility to make important decisions on national matters when we fully know that in Zambian political circles we’ve people that can’t think properly to the extent of even failing to give a national stadium a befitting name. Due to poverty, experts lower their intellect to that level in return for rewards. Last time it was reported that members used to get as much as K500,000 per sitting. This caused some members to push for Board Meetings every month! This obviously wasn’t to address Zesco problems but to sort out their financial needs. Count how many boards exist and how much money we lose on useless ventures. RTSA with a fully functional Board has installed traffic lights that stopped working long ago

  5. Perhaps we should change our education system. Instead of learning about capital cities of Europe we learn how to make solar panels etc.
    This man has been talking a lot.

  6. I do not think there is anything tangible Dr Chikwanda whom i know too well from the University days has offered in this write up. The task should be to heavily invest in Solar and Wind power because those can be built and commissioned within 6 months. These offer both long and short term relief measures.

  7. I was looking for stats in his statement to back up his proposals and envisaged gains but nothing has been presented . There is no empirical data to support his assertion. For Instance ,I do not think banning electric geysers is a viable solution , what do you do with the ones already installed ? And in any case there are technologies that are available to manage the power consumption and have been used by most power utilities to turn geysers on or off.

  8. What the expert is proposing is valid but not comprehensive. Energy efficiency can be improved not only looking at geysers but other loads such as cooking stoves, air-conditioning, pumps,etc. Most of these should be managed by automation instead of switching them of because humans are not good at remembering things. Timers are also important tools to operate things such as stoves, irrigation systems, pumps, etc. Zambia is also too much reliant on hydro power and more coal, bio-fuels, solar, wind, can be put on the grid easily in the next few years. At strategic plan should be drafted and Zambian stakeholders should be invited to participate and review the plans.

  9. This is Bullpucky. Not too long ago, when the minister of energy said Zambia would no longer experience load-shedding, on what expert data were his statements based? Loading shedding is a threat to national security; life-saving Machines at hospitals; cripples production and the economy and the cost of living gets high. Can you stop exporting energy, and helping your friends to increase their production output in their conglomerate companies at the expense of suppressing our economy and treating Zambians like clowns?

    • @Independent O.

      It looks like UPND had to send this fake expert to do damage control. HH is a liar and so are all his spineless ministers.

    • @ Deja Vu

      I have wholly come to regret supporting these UPND bandits. They are the most domicile bunch of corrupt people and HH protects them……

      @ Independent O. has made a good point. How do you export electricity to your neighbours and cripple your own economy. I know the Minister of Energy. He should not hold any position in government, because he has a static political mind. He has done well in his life. But not fit to be a minister……

  10. I see Hon Kavindele is urging people not to politicize the issue of loadshedding…. it’s not politicizing…. people are just surprised that Mr Hakainde Hichilema has failed to use his ingenuity to solve this “simple” problem.
    When he points to the low levels of the Kariba Dam, people get surprised because he never accepted that these low levels were the cause for loadshedding.
    We the neutral ones feel sorry for him but if he’s man enough, he would do well to apologize especially to the 2.8 million whose hopes he raised sky high.

  11. This is the same Johnston Chikwanda that messed up (failed Indeni). Commuting from South Africa to work in Ndola. Air travel paid by Indeni. What a joke, all because of being son to PF Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda. Your bad legacy will follow you as a family. Cannot even help your own brother experiencing a bad patch of life.

  12. @Deja Vu, you mean HH to apologise for El nino or draught in the nation. Thought you are above Mutafela Mulife.
    You do not need rocket science knowledge to know that water can be diverted from Kafue to power the hydro electricity power station. Every Zambian knows that load shedding was a thing of the past except now, this month of 2024.

    • Don’t get me wrong. Droughts have a time have caused the gradual but effective loss of water in the Kariba Dam. HH has not caused the drought and neither have any of his predecessors… GET THIS, HE CONVINCED PEOPLE THAT THE DROUGHT WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF LOADSHEDDING. I don’t need to explain further unless your mind is already made up. I’m sure you don’t want to see those videos?
      Those who vote must call for a citizens charter where a candidate who lied during campaigns should be recalled…namutubelesha starting with FTJ to the current one.

    • Muna: you need some lessons in Logic and how to argue. Deja Vu: FTJ died some dozen years ago how can we recall him?

    • MunaDekhane @

      What’s wrong with you? Go back and read what HH said. When MMD & PF were crying about lower water levels at Kariba Dam due to lack of rain, HH said that it was a failure by the government. Why is he blaming the lack of rain if he had a better solution while in opposition? You are nothing but a blind supporter.

  13. Energy expert who sits on his brains. What expertise has he brought to Zed. As an expert you are supposed to anticipate and offer solutions to mitigate.
    You did none of that and today you are running to zambiaobserver.

  14. Don’t get me wrong. Droughts have a time have caused the gradual but effective loss of water in the Kariba Dam. HH has not caused the drought and neither have any of his predecessors… GET THIS, HE CONVINCED PEOPLE THAT THE DROUGHT WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF LOADSHEDDING. I don’t need to explain further unless your mind is already made up. I’m sure you don’t want to see those videos?
    Those who vote must call for a citizens charter where a candidate who lied during campaigns should be recalled…namutubelesha starting with FTJ to the current one.

  15. His not a “renowned ” energy expert please. He is merely stating the facts as are available to everybody and drawing positive conclusions from those facts which he has been doing for sometime probably in order to be noticed and appointed somewhere.

    • HH How about appointing Mr Chikwanda as Minister for alternative energy and for dams to be built on all our rivers: Luapula, Lualaba, Kafue, Limpopo, Luangwa etc

  16. So now switching off geysers and other electrical appliances should be termed expert knowledge? On a serious note, I was geared to see longterm solutions here to address low water levels at the Kariba dam or is it Kafue gorge?

  17. This is the problem with these so called experts. When I was starting to read I thought by the end of the day there will be a solution. He starts by praising government which is clear a job seeking gimmick since this government has not invested anything in power generation. Then he goes on to talk about electric geysers? In Lusaka the compound that uses the most power is Kanyama. Are there any electric geysers in Kanyama? High consumption of electricity is not a problem but should be seen as an opportunity. If the government today was to say people that are able to generate electricity can get licenses and start selling electricity directly to consumers, by this year December this problem would end.

  18. This man is just lying. Himself is supplying himself with energy through diesel generators. His fridge is working 24 hours. He has electricity for every 24 hours. Loadschedding is only meant for the poor Zambians

  19. Instead of pouring CDF money into 1×3 classroom blocks that are not even enough to end ovecrowding of classrooms and fake UPND cooperatives consisting of friends and family members of UPND leaders who to fly into UAE and Turkey to buy clothes for resale in Zambia, CDF money should have been invested in wind and solar farms in partnership with foreign investors.That is how loadshedding would have been ended. Sierra Leone is doing it with the British Octopus company whilst UPND remains heavily dependent on hydroenergy that is more vulnerable to climate change. UPND has failed to use its connections with the West to bring about the much needed energy mix to our economy.

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