Felix International and MTN have worked together in order to provide 30,000 households and 150,000 individuals access to off-grid solar energy.
Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, said, “The impact on our customers and their communities is transformational: household income is boosted; families are safe from dangerous and polluting kerosene; and children can complete homework after darkness falls.”
This off-grid investment goes along way in terms of providing electricity to the 69% of Zambians that do not have any form of electricity whatsoever.
However, more investment is needed, with a greater emphasis on base-load grid power generation, using fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.
This is the most reliable way of providing electricity for generations to come, meaning less use of batteries, kerosene and wood-burning stoves. Giving Zambians a better quality of life overall.
The ruling Patriotic Front party in Zambia also campaigned during the 2016 elections with a pledge: “In the next five years, the Patriotic Front government shall promote investment in alternative energy sources such as thermal electricity generation from coal and nuclear reactors.”
In this year’s opening of the Zambian Parliament, President Edgar Lungu confirmed that there are plans to develop a 300MW and 340MW coal power plant, and there are also plans for hydro projects introducing a 900MW and a 2,400MW hydro power plant.
All of these projects will help to deliver the necessary infrastructure required to power Zambia and its citizens’ future. It is only with a healthy mix of both off-grid and base-load power projects will they eventually reach universal access to electricity, and provide power to the remaining 11.5 million Zambians currently left in the dark.