2018 Zambia workshop

Workshop on non-dispatchable renewable energies integration into the grid

Lusaka, Zambia - 5-6 September

RES4Africa led the “Workshop on non-dispatchable renewable energies integration into the grid” in Lusaka, Zambia, on 5-6 September. Developed in partnership with ZESCO, Zambia’s electricity utility company, and with the support of RES4Africa members CESIEnel Green Power and Terna, the workshop aimed at training 35 managers and technicians from ZESCO, the Ministry of Energy of Zambia and Energy Regulatory Body (ERB).

The workshop was officially opened by the Cabinet Minister of the Zambian Ministry of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa, by Italy’s Ambassador to Zambia Filippo Scammacca del Murgo, by ZESCO’s Acting Managing Director Fidelis Mubiana, and by RES4Africa Senior Manager Luca Marena.

The workshop shed light on the main challenges that the Zambian TSO will face with the introduction of new generation from non-dispatchable renewable sources (wind and solar), analysing possible solutions according to the European and South African experience. Thanks to the expertise of RES4Africa members, the workshop also proposed potential regulatory reforms to support non-programmable renewable energy deployment and showed how storage systems can support the stability of the grid. The workshop also provided the opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices to handle and overtake the transition period too.

“This workshop is an opportunity to practically discuss the vast potential of non-dispatchable energy sources of the country. Capacity building has been identified has a catalyst to the development of the energy sector and the partnership of RES4Africa with various governmental agencies cannot happen in a better time” stated the Cabinet Minister of the Zambian Ministry of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa, “If we just consider the vast potential of renewable energy we should be exporting a lot of energy to all our neighbour countries, but our grid is not able to support it and for this reason we should improve the resilience of our national grid, in order to guarantee economic and social growth”.

“I am reminded of the devastating effects that the drought of 2015 and 2016 had on our predominantly hydropower-based electricity sector. Though we had very good rains in 2017, today, the whole sector is still recovering from the after effects of that drought” added ZESCO’s Acting Managing Director Fidelis Mubiana, “We are now, more than ever before, determined to diversify our energy sources by ensuring that the Renewable Energy programs in place succeed so as to insulate ourselves from future effects of climate change”.

Overcoming the challenges related to renewable integration will be crucial to unlock Zambia’s vast non-programmable renewable energy sources. The participation of the high-level management of ZESCO and the Ministry of Energy, such as the presence of representatives from Energy Regulatory Body (ERB), was essential to spread the key messages of the workshop and to start a productive and fruitful cooperation between RES4Africa, its members and the key local players of the energy sector.

The workshop was also preliminar to the Zambia programme official launch which will take place on 27-28 November in Lusaka.