Sunday, July 5, 2015

Energy: The Oxygen of the Economy and the Life-blood of Growth

Zambia is currently experiencing a sever electricity shortage that has brought about the worst load shedding program the country has ever needed to employ. Because of the prevailing low-rain season, the water level in the country’s reservoirs has been consistently low – a fact that compelled Zesco to ration power generation and, ultimately, apply load shedding. When Zesco, the state-owned power company in Zambia, informed the public about the low water levels from which it generates electricity, few people lent their ears. Now, unusually extended hours of power cuts have been haunting Zambians….

Many residents have already been lamenting about the disastrous consequences of the power shortage on their homes and livelihoods. Zambia’s government, however, has been planning to roll out electricity-related projects that aim to mitigate the effects of the persisting hydrologic imbalance.

Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma has reportedly informed Zambia’s parliament that the government had been taking the necessary steps to import between 150-200 MW of electricity as an interim solution to cushion the power shortage. If this pushes through, there should be no load shedding in Zambia for the financial year 2015, because Zesco had also projected the production of 12,900 MW based on earlier indications from the country’s meteorology department of normal to above-normal rains for the season.

Zesco, in cooperation with other power generation companies in the country, has also been working on several projects to include more electricity in the national grid.

To complement the country’s drive to enhance its electricity generation and transmission infrastructure, Zambia can also choose to hire the services of rental power generation companies, which are able to provide temporary power plants to bridge the gap in electricity anytime and anywhere.

Rental power plants represent a fast-track, large-scale solution to the energy challenges plaguing not only Zambia but any given country in the world. Temporary power plants are a reliable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective answer to power shortages no matter its extent and degree. They are equipped with the latest technology, allowing them to be configured to produce the exact amount of electricity as required, and to be connected to a site’s existing power infrastructure regardless of its condition or age. As they are compact and containerized, they can be transported from and to anywhere in the world, and can be installed and commissioned in as little as days – not months, not years. Most importantly, they can offer the government and the tax-payers notable savings, because hiring rental power plants do not involve a large CAPEX.

Zambia’s power sector is presently dominated by hydroelectric power, which has not been adequate to meet the demand. Thus, the country is currently looking beyond hydropower and taking the initial steps to diversify its electricity sources.  Electricity is the ‘oxygen’ of the economy and the life-blood of growth, and the recent instances of severe load shedding has reminded the country about the reality that its power generation sector requires crucial new investment in order to meet the growing energy requirements of its residents and industries.


Robert Bagatsing
Altaaqa Global
Tel: +971 56 1749505

No comments:

Post a Comment