Review of Renewable Energy Technologies in Zambian Households: Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment
- Solar energy: The country has up to 3000 h of sunshine per annum. However, deployment of this form of energy in households has remained fairly low. Most installations are tilted towards social development projects, particularly health, education, institutional housing and water supply.
- Geothermal: 80 hot springs have been identified across the country, with 35 of these offering high potential for energy exploitation. Presently, only one miniature geothermal power plant at Kapisya hot springs has been exploited, whose current generation capacity is below its potential of 2 Mega-Watts (MW). The rest of the geothermal sites remain unexploited due to the high initial cost required for power generation. There is need for deliberate measures aimed at promoting Independent Power Providers (IPPs) who could either generate and supply electricity to the sole utility, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) or provide it to surrounding households for improved electrification rates and subsequent positive spillover effects.
- Biomass: Modern biomass energy sources in Zambia include but are not restricted to improved wood fuel, biogas digesters and biofuel. Several projects aimed at producing energy from biomass have been undertaken locally, although there is a dearth of statistics on the success rates of these efforts; resulting total energy output and; the number of households benefiting from these innovations.
- Wind: Prospects for large-scale investments in this form of energy are low due to low wind speeds (highest recorded speed is 10 m per second) which are unsuitable for power generation, but appropriate for domestic water-pumping and irrigation. A wind atlas would be helpful in determining the full potential of wind energy in Zambia.
- Reliability of hydro-electric renewable energy for use in households.
- Probable socio-cultural influence on household energy habits (traditional biomass has been used among Zambian households whether rural or urban since time immemorial ).
- Drivers and deterrents of RET adoption among households.
- Diversity of the RET market in Zambia.
2. RET Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment in Zambia
2.1. Households’ Requisite Capacities for the Acquisition of Renewable Energy
2.1.2. Range of Energy Service Levels
2.1.3. Dependability and Quality
2.1.6. Availability of RETS
2.2. Factors Hampering Successful Adoption of Renewable Energy in Zambian Households
2.2.1. Underexploited Renewable Energy Sector
2.2.2. Infrastructural Pitfalls
2.2.3. Energy Poverty
2.2.4. Policy Inadequacies
- Long-term commitment by the Government towards accelerated RET access as opposed to short-term, piecemeal approaches.
- Creation of regulations and institutions whose principle aim is to facilitate in the expansion of new forms of renewable energy.
- Either promotion of innovative income-earning activities to identified households in order for them to afford access or financial support to IPPs to reduce the high upfront costs of developing a model to supply energy to unserved populations.
2.2.5. Low Levels of Awareness
2.2.6. Upward Adjustment in Household Tariffs
2.2.7. Planned Service, Unplanned Settlements
2.2.8. Weak Management of the Electricity Sub-Sector
4. Materials and Methods
- Review households’ requisite capacities for the successful acquisition of renewable energy.
- Carry out an investigation of the factors hampering successful adoption of renewable energy in Zambian households.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Region||Population Without Electricity (Million Persons)||Electrification Rate||Urban Electrification Rate||Rural Electrification Rate|
|Transition Economies & OECD||1||100%||100%||100%|
|Renewable Energy||Resource Availability||Potential Output|
|Hydro||Multiple mini and major sites across the cross; country possesses over 40% of water resources in SADC region ||6000 MW|
|Biomass||2.15 million tonnes ||498 MW|
|Wind||Average—3 m/s at 10 m height; hotspots in Northern and Eastern regions.||Not quantified|
|Geothermal||80 hot-springs; 35 viable .||Not quantified|
|Solar||5.5 KWh/m2/day; Approx. 3000 sunshine hours per annum||Not quantified|
|Strengths and Weaknesses of Wind Energy Systems|
|Technology is moderately simple and robust with lifetimes of over 15 years without major additional investment||Site-specific technology (success likely only in few parts of the country)|
|Automatic operation with low maintenance requirements (no fuel required)||Variable power produced, therefore storage/backup required.|
|Low environmental impact||High capital/initial investment costs can hinder adoption (especially in developing countries)|
|Technology can be adapted for part or complete manufacture in developing countries||Couriering problems associated with installation in rural areas|
|Policy and Regulatory Hindrances|
|Small electricity producers have difficulties connecting to the grid network. Inadequate incentives for renewable energy development|
Lack of standardised Power Purchase Agreements deters potential investors in power generation. Lack of fair competition in the energy sector to attract Independent Power Producers in the energy sector.
Incomplete implementation of Zambia’s policy/legal and institutional framework to promote renewable energy production and diffusion
|Limited capacity to evaluate technical, financial and economic proposals as well as, market development, and marketing of renewable energy projects|
Spatial distribution of suppliers’ limit access to renewable energy equipment
Limited coordination among ministries
Open access regime incomplete
|Limited technical capacity to design, install, operate, manage and maintain renewable energy systems|
Limited or non-existent standards for energy performance, manufacture, installation and maintenance
Lack of local manufacturing and/or assembly of renewable energy technology components
|Human Resources and Awareness Challenges|
|Limited availability and access to existing information on renewable energy resources and potential|
Limited public awareness of renewable technologies
Availability of resources for mini-hydro is site specific, requiring detailed analysis of local conditions
|The Rural Electrification is Fund ineffective|
High capital cost of renewable energy products
Lack of economies of scale due to dispersed market
Lack of bulk procurement limited due to market size
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Kachapulula-Mudenda, P.; Makashini, L.; Malama, A.; Abanda, H. Review of Renewable Energy Technologies in Zambian Households: Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment. Buildings 2018, 8, 77. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8060077
Kachapulula-Mudenda P, Makashini L, Malama A, Abanda H. Review of Renewable Energy Technologies in Zambian Households: Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment. Buildings. 2018; 8(6):77. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8060077Chicago/Turabian Style
Kachapulula-Mudenda, Priscilla, Lilias Makashini, Albert Malama, and Henry Abanda. 2018. "Review of Renewable Energy Technologies in Zambian Households: Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment" Buildings 8, no. 6: 77. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8060077