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Copperbelt Energy Corporation

Primary Energy Supply Zambia is endowed with a wide range of energy resources, particularly woodlands and forests, hydropower, coal and renewable sources of energy. Petroleum is the only energy source that is currently wholly imported. The country’s energy consumption is mainly wood fuel (i.e., firewood and charcoal), which accounts for over 70% of total primary energy supply, putting a strong pressure on forestry resources with a low energy consumption per capita of around 700 kWh/capita. Despite the availability of these energy resources, electrification levels still remain 18 low with only about 31.2% of the population being connected to the grid. Figure 5 below illustrates the Country’s primary energy supply; Figure 5: Zambia’s primary energy supply 2.3.2. Electricity Supply And Consumption Electricity is the second most dominant energy source in Zambia after wood fuel, providing about 10 percent of the national energy supply. Zambia has a total installed electricity generation capacity of 2,827 MW and heavily relies on large hydro power plants for power generation (2,388 MW), the remaining balance being provided by coal (300 MW), heavy fuel oil (105 MW), diesel (89 MW) and solar (0.06 MW) power plants [ERB, 2018]. Renewable energy sources (excluding hydro) are increasingly being used but still remain insignificant in terms of contribution to the total national energy mix (figure 6). The ramifications of the country’s failure to diversify its electricity generation mix became marked in 2015 when the energy deficit resulted in unprecedented levels of electricity supply rationing to all consumers. Demand for electricity stood at 1,949 MW; however, the sector was only able to generate 1,281 MW. This situation was largely as a result of inadequate and delayed investments in generation and transmission infrastructure and the failure to diversify energy generation sources over the last 30 years. This was further compounded by inadequate incentives to attract investment in the sector. The deficit was exacerbated by the effects of climate change, in particular low rainfall, given that Zambia has been highly dependent on hydro-power. The peak demand for electricity in the country is likely to be 3,000 MW by 2021 and is expected to increase to over 3,525 MW in 2030. The current projections indicate that growth in demand will increase between 150 MW and 200 MW per annum.