Renewable energy based electricity generation for isolated mini-grids in Zambia
Recognizing the need to enhance access of energy to rural communities, UNIDO is implementing a GEF/UNEP funded renewable energy project in Zambia, which will establish on pilot basis three mini-grids powered by renewable energy sources (solar, biomass and small hydro) in rural communities that cannot be reached in the immediate term by the national grid.
The electricity so generated will be used for income generating activities in the targeted
communities as well as for other energy services. To ensure local ownership, the communities, individual consumers, the public utility, and investors will actively contribute to the programme.
The project will install a 1 MW biomass gasifier plant for power generation; a small hydropower station (1 MW) linking with productive uses and a solar energy mini-grid to introduce solar lanterns for fishing activities at night. The project will contribute to a legal, institutional, and policy framework that provides a favorable environment for commercial deployment of renewable energy based mini-grids in rural areas of Zambia. National and local capacity for commercial deployment of renewable energy based mini-grids in rural areas of Zambia is expected to sustain further expansion of the market for these technologies.