GREEN Party president Peter Sinkamba has advised Government to invest in low cost renewable energy generation systems such as solar and wind to ensure that there is sufficient and affordable power supply in the country.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Sinkamba bemoaned the high deficit and tariffs of electricity in the country, and has disclosed that he had warned Government that increasing electricity tariffs was not the solution for inviting investors in the energy sector and reducing load shedding.
He said that the power deficit was still too high and that Government should consider alternative affordable renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, geo-hydro, biomass and recycling of waste.
Mr Sinkamba explained that increasing electricity tariffs was not the answer to the power deficit because the poor Zambians would suffer more and that the energy sector was profitable enough to attract investors.
He said that there was massive demand for electricity across the region and that investors would still make more money by exporting power to neighbouring countries.
“There is a massive power deficit in the SADC region. A serious investor can come to invest power generation in the country without Government having to necessarily increase the tariffs. The investors can then export the power to countries within the SADC region where tariffs are high.
‘‘Electricity export could then be a foreign exchange earner for the country. Otherwise the power deficit is still too high and Government should consider alternative affordable renewable energy sources,” said Mr Sinkamba.
He disclosed that countries such as China have invested heavily in solar energy such that their net power deficit was in the negative.
He said that China has enough power to export and pump into the national grid, and that Zambia should also follow suit.
And Mr Sinkamba also advised Government to come up with a system where private individuals and companies would be feeding excess power into the national grid.
He said that people generating power on their own were wasting a lot of energy as they were producing more than what they needed.
Mr Sinkamba explained that a barber shop or saloon using solar or a generator produces more energy than what they normally use.
“A lot of energy is being wasted at the moment from people who use solar or generators. The power that those systems produce is more than what those people require for their daily use. So Government should come up with a way in which those people will be feeding the excess power into the national grid,” he said.