Promoting Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Development in Africa: Experiences in Zambia

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Promoting Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Development in Africa: Experiences in Zambia

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  • 1. © Kamla-Raj 2008 J. Hum. Ecol., 24(3): 175-189 (2008) Promoting Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Development in Africa: Experiences of Zambia Orleans Mfunea and Emmanuel K. Boonb a Department of Geography, University of Zambia, P.O Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia E-mail: omfune@yahoo.com b Human Ecology Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklan 103,B-1090 Brussels, Belgium Telephone: +32 2 477 42 81; Fax: +32 2 477 49 64, E-mail: eboon@vub.ac.beKEYWORDS Households. Renewable Energy Technology. Rural Development Institutions. MarketsABSTRACT The need to meet the growing energy demand from Zambia’s growing economy and the large numberof un-electrified households has been the major driver towards the introduction of renewable energy technology inthe country. This study is based on a review of planning and policy documents, a household questionnaire surveyand interviews with energy institutions, planners and rural development organisations. The paper examinesZambia’s efforts to exploit renewable energy technology. The paper reveals a growing interest in renewable energyamong policy makers and planners. Attempts have been made to integrate renewable energy technologies indevelopment policy and plans. The study also shows that the use of renewable energy in rural Zambia is limitedmainly to solar energy technologies with minimal exploitation of wind energy technology. However, household useof solar energy technologies in the form of solar home systems is limited to an elite group of rural population thatis mostly in formal and / or government employment. The challenges of renewable energy use in Zambia includeinadequate policy provision and implementation, lack of awareness among rural households about the benefits ofrenewable energy, the high cost of technology and the undeveloped nature of renewable energy markets. 1. INTRODUCTION period. It is also expected that energy related emissions will grow by 40 per cent from 1990 to The growing interest in renewable energy 2010 and will grow by 72 per cent from 1990 totechnologies (RETS) has been stimulated by 2020. It is these worrying trends that haveglobal awareness that fossil fuels are not infinite boosted the drive towards renewable energy useand the recognition that the use of fossil fuels in the industrialised countries, especially withinconstitutes one of the major sources of green the framework of the Kyoto protocol that placeshouse gases that contribute towards global mandatory reduction in carbon emissions forwarming. Ever since the industrial revolution, countries that are party to it.global energy production and consumption has Today, renewable energy technologies arebeen on the rise. It is estimated that global energy growing at a tremendous speed and are playingdemand will increase by a factor of 2-3 (see Table1). The US Energy Information Administration Table 1: World energy consumption 1990-2030(EIA, 2006) projects a strong growth for world (In Quadrillion Btu)wide energy demand over a 27 year projection Region 1990 2030 Annualfrom 2003 to 2030. This demand is largely driven percentageby the world economic growth which is changeincreasing at an annual average rate of 3.8 (2004-2030)percent per year. The total world consumption OECD America 100.8 157.6 1of marketed energy will expand from 421 OECD Europe 69 86 0.3quadrillion thermal units (BTU) in 2003 to 722 Non OECD Europe 67.2 72.1 1.4 Asia/Pacific(OECD) 26.6 45.3 0.7quadrillion BTU in 2030, representing a 71 percent Middle East 11.3 36.9 2.2increase in the projected period (EIA, 2006). Asia/Pacific(Non OECD) 47.5 219.7 3.1 While world energy consumption may rise Africa 9.5 23.9 2.2by 71 per cent in the projected period, the EIA Latin America 14.5 39.5 2.2further projects that consumption in developing Source: US Energy Information Administrationnations will grow by 121 per cent during this (EIA, 2006)
  • 2. 176 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONTable 2: Global renewable energy capacity in 2005. Renewable energy (includes biomass and Existing Growth hydro) met 14% of the global energy supply in at end of rate (%) 2003. This share is projected to remain relatively 2005 in 2005 constant through to 2030 as illustrated in figure 2.Power Generation Large hydro power 750 GW 1.5-2 2002 2030 Small hydro power 66GW 8 Renewable Wind turbines 59GW 24 Renewable 14% Nuclear Gas 14% Biomass Power 44GW - Nuclear 7% 25% 5% Geothermal power 9.3GW 3 Gas Solar PV grid connected 3.1GW 55 21% Solar PV, off-grid 2.3GW 15 Solar thermal power 0.4GW - Ocean(tidal power) 0.3GW -Hot water/heating Oil Oil Biomass heating 220GWth 35% Coal 34% Solar collectors 88GWth Coal 22% Geothermal heating 28GWth 9 23%Transport fuel Fig. 2. Share of renewable energy in the global Ethanol production 33 billion litres/year 8 energy supply (2002-2030) Bio diesel production 3.9 billion litres/year 8 5 Source: United Nations Department of Economic andRural (Off-grid Energy) Social Affairs (UNDESA, 2005) Biomass cooking stoves in use 570 million - Household –scale biogas Fossil fuel which is expected to continue digesters in use 21 million, - dominating the global supply of energy in the Household scale solar projected period, contributes a share of 79% and PV in use 2.4 million - nuclear energy 7 % (UNDESA, 2005). TheSource: International Energy Agency (IEA, 2007) contribution of new renewables to the global energy supply stands at 1 % and is expected toan important role in power generation, heating, increase to 2% by 2030 (UNDESA, 2005).transport fuels and rural off-grid energy supply(IEA, 2007). Table 2 shows the renewable energy 1.1 Africa’s Energy Situationcapacity and growth rate in 2005. Bio-diesel, gridconnected photovoltaic and wind turbines While the long-term global impact of currentexperienced the highest growth rates. fossil fuel use is a major worrisome factor for Large hydro power makes the largest industrialised countries, most developingrenewable energy contribution towards global countries are pre-occupied with meeting thepower production. However, environmental barest energy needs of their developing econo-concerns of large hydro projects are increasingly mies and populations. A great disparity in energyblocking its growth. Attention is now increasingly consumption exists between the developed andbeing focused on the new renewable energy developing countries. The latter have 80 percenttechnologies (wind, solar, tide and geo-thermal) of the world’s population but consume only 30as illustrated in figure 1. percent of the world’s commercial energy 50 (RECIPES, 2006). Ironically, many of these Series1 countries are richly endowed with energyAnnual growth rate (%) 40 resources. Africa has 1.1 million GWH of exploitable 30 hydro-power, 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves and over 60 billion cubic meters of 20 coal. This is in addition to a wealth of biomass, solar and wind resources. Only 7 percent of the 10 hydraulic and 0.6 percent of geothermal energy 0 potential is exploited. Africa has the highest mean Geothermal Solar Wind Tide annual solar radiation in the world per year. It isFig. 1. Growth of new renewables supply 1971-2004 estimated that 95 percent of the daily globalSource: International Energy Agency (2007) winter sunshine above 6 KWh/m2 falls in Africa
  • 3. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 177(Ejigu, 2005). Yet, the majority of the continent’s essential ingredient for the attainment of povertypopulation, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are reduction, especially within the framework of thewithout access to electricity and other modern Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).forms of clean energy. The amount of electricity According to Bugaje (2004), a lack of adequateused in the industrialized countries is 150 times energy services is certainly a constraint onhigher than that of Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa development. It limits the capacity to meet thecontinues to rely heavily on low quality traditional basic needs of those who need energy tosources of energy such as wood fuel. Seventy six undertake essential domestic, agricultural andpercent (76%) of the population depends on wood educational tasks, to support health services,fuel as a source of energy (ENDA, 2005). and to initiate trade flows. This realisation has Furthermore, there appears to be a positive become a major driver towards increasing energyrelationship between national income and supply in Africa and the use of renewable energymodern energy consumption in Africa. Countries technologies in particular. The projected increasewith high GNP tend to consume more modern in energy consumption in Africa from 1990 toenergy than countries with low incomes (Figure 2030 provided in Table 3 vividly depicts the3). The majority of African countries are low enormity of the energy challenge in Africa.income countries and therefore consume lessenergy (Karekezi, 2002). Table 3: Africa energy consumption 1990 -2030(In Furthermore, the energy sector in Africa Quadrillion Btu)shows regional diversity and can be best Year 1990 2003 2004 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030clustered into three distinct regions. The first is Consu- 9.5 13.3 13.7 16.7 18.5 20.6 22.4 23.9North Africa, which is heavily dependant on oil mptionand gas. The second is South Africa which relies Source: Energy Information Agency (EIA, 2007)on coal while the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa islargely reliant on biomass. In 1997, South Africa 2. THE RESEARCH PROBLEM ANDand North Africa accounted for over 50% of HYPOTHESISAfrica‘s total modern energy production(Karekezi, 2002). Achieving a sustainable energy future for all Today, energy is acknowledged as an is a universal goal that is placed on the agenda 600 Zimbabwe 500 400 Kenya GNP per capita Zambia Uganda Sudan 300 Madagascar Angola Rwanda Eritrea Mozambique 200 Malawi Burundi Ethiopia 100 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Modern energy use (Kgoe) 1999 Fig. 3. Relationship between national income and energy Source: Karekezi, 2002
  • 4. 178 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONof United Nations organisations by international It is clear that renewable energy technologyconsensus. Both Agenda 21 and the Johannes- development in Africa is still embryonic. Data onburg Plan of Implementation (JPoI) regard an renewable energy development and adoption inefficient use and supply of energy that are Africa are extremely poor. This situation createsreliable, affordable and less polluting as indis- the need to investigate the state of renewablepensable components of sustainable develop- energy technologies in many African countries.ment. To achieve this goal, more and better In Zambia, apart from a few studies commi-integrated energy-environment planning and an ssioned by the Swedish International Develop-increased use of renewable sources in the overall ment Agency (SIDA) on the state and dissemi-energy supply system are important elements nation of solar home systems, research on renew-that should be incorporated into any country’s able energy has concentrated mainly on theenergy-environment development strategy technical aspects at the University of Zambia(Najam and Cleveland, 2005) Energy Research Laboratory. Major bottlenecks Africa’s energy situation illustrates the nece- in applying renewable energy technologiesssity and urgency of investing in development (RETs) in rural settings relate to communities’of decentralised renewable energy technologies level of income, policy and planning implications,for rural and poor communities. Zambia, like the the nature of the supply networks, andrest of Africa, is no exception to this situation. information on RETs and knowledge about thisNearly 98% of rural Zambians that accounts for technology. Lack of information on these and65 percent of the country’s population have no other factors weakens the drive towardsaccess to electricity; it heavily relies on biomass application of RETS and consequently the futureenergy (CSO 2001). Furthermore, the cost of of sustainable energy remains gloomy. It is inextending grid electricity to remote areas in the this context that this study seeks to examinecountry is too high and the low demand for the Zambia’s efforts towards the promotion ofrural areas can not justify the cost of electri- renewable energy technologies and the questfication projects (Machungwa, 2005). for making sus-tainable energy available to rural While statistics show that there is an increase Zambia.in the use of renewable energy sources world Decentralised energy services provided byover, in actual fact, the growth is dominated by a solar, wind and other renewable energy techno-few players. A mere six countries account for 80 logies should now be considered as an absolutepercent of the global solar and wind energy: necessity if the energy needs of remote ruralDenmark, German, India, Japan and the United areas are to be met.States of America (Sawin, 2004). Africa standsout as one of the least beneficiaries of renewable 3. MATERIALS AND METHODSenergy technologies as it accounts for only 1.8%of the global new renewable energy supply (IEA, This paper examines Zambia’s efforts towards2007). the use of renewable energy technologies (RETs). It investigates the factors and dynamics relating to renewable energy potential, its adoption by households and institutions and its contribution to the socio-economic well being of the rural population. Communities’ and households’ knowledge on and use of renewable energy technologies are based on data collected in Lundazi, a district in the Eastern Province of Zambia Both secondary and primary sources of information were collected and analysed. International and national literature on renewable energy was reviewed in order to identify the renewable energy trends and the main debatesFig. 4. Regional shares in renewable energy supply relating to renewable energy development in the2004. world. The Zambia National Energy Policy, the
  • 5. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 179Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Zambia’s with several hundred million tones of probableprincipal development plans and the Lundazi reserves (GRZ, 2002). Petroleum is the onlydistrict development plan were reviewed in order energy source that is imported. A limited amountto determine the level of integration of renewable of white products are also imported in the country.energy promotion in these documents. Solar radiation averages 5.5 kWh/m²/day with With regard to primary data, household up to 3,000 sunshine hours annually, providingquestionnaires and interviews were used. A significant potential for solar thermal and photo-questionnaire survey was administered to 80 voltaic exploitation. Wind speeds are howeverhouseholds in Lundazi district in order to examine low, averaging 2.5m/s and 10m above the grounduse of renewable energy technologies at the (Machungwa, 2005; CSO 2001).household level and factors relating to non- Despite this range of energy resources,adoption of renewable energy technologies. energy consumption is still very low in theRural institutions, enterprises, staff of the district country. The total annual consumption of allplanning office, the department of energy and forms of energy in Zambia is in the range of 4.5other energy stakeholders were interviewed to million Tonnes Oil Equivalent (TOE). The mininggain insight on institutional renewable energy sector is by far the largest consumer of electricityuse, policy orientation and the extent of (see Figure 5), accounting for 68% of the totalrenewable energy markets. Further more, focus consumption, followed by the government andgroup discussions were used to collect data in service sector with 7%, industry and commercethe study area. This data collection instrument with 4%, households with 19% and agriculturehelped unveil emerging issues in the area of with 2 % (GRZ 2002).renewable energy and community knowledge of The past six years have seen a tremendousrenewable energy technologies. increase in investment in the mining and other sectors of Zambia’s economy because of the 4. ZAMBIA’S ENERGY RESOURCES AND phenomenal increase in copper prices. This boom CONSUMPTION PATTERN in economic activity has invariably caused a proportionate increase in demand for electricity. Zambia is richly endowed with a range of The country’s Energy Regulation Board (ERB,primary energy sources, including hydropower, 2006) has warned that the increasing demand forcoal, woodlands and renewable sources of electricity by the mines and other sectors of theenergy. The hydropower potential is estimated economy is running faster than previouslyat 6,000 MW. However, the total installed anticipated. It is currently estimated that Zambiacapacity is about 1,700 MW. Hydroelectric plants will run out of electricity supply by the year 2008represent 92% of the installed capacity and when electricity demand is expected to outstripaccount for 99% of electricity production. Proven supply.coal reserves are estimated at 30 million tones To keep up with this increase in demand, Electricity Use by Sector Energy Use by Product Industry Coal Electricity Petroleum 4% Agriculture 2% Households 10% 9% 2% 19%Governmentand Service 7% Mining 68% Woodfuel 79% Fig. 5. Energy use by sector and product in Zambia
  • 6. 180 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONZambia dearly needs to increase its current considered renewable because of the resultantelectricity generation capacity by 180 percent negative environmental impacts of such largefrom the current 1,608Mw to 4,700 Mw. The scale undertakings. Similarly, considering the wayestimated cost of this increase is U$2 billion. It firewood and charcoal are currently used, theymay take five to seven years for a new hydro- can no longer be considered renewable. Theirpower plant to be built (ERB, 2006). In addition exploitation is causing severe forest degradationto the challenge of meeting this huge energy and can not therefore be regarded as sustainabledemand, Zambia is faced with the challenge of energy sources. According to GRZ-MTENRsatisfying the demand of more than 80 percent (2002), one full time charcoal producer is capableof its population for modern forms of energy that of clearing 0.5 ha of forest land per year. Inare environmentally benign and can significantly Southern Africa, the rate of deforestation isimprove their socio-economic situation. highest in Zambia (2.4%) and Malawi. Between Only 16.7 percent of households in Zambia 200,000 and 300,000ha of forested land is lost perhave access to electricity, while wood fuel in the annum (FAO, 2003). The dependence on woodform of firewood and charcoal is the principal as a source of energy in relation to the populationsource of energy in the country. Forty four (44) growth rate is one of the major causes of thispercent of urban households have access to loss of forest cover (GRZ-MTENR, 2002).electricity compared to 2.2 percent of rural house- In view of this, the Department of Energyholds (CSO, 2001). The majority of the population considers renewable biomass energy sources toheavily relies on charcoal and firewood for comprise forest waste, agriculture waste, energyheating and cooking, while candles and kerosene crops and animal waste. Though renewableare used for lighting. energy sources are increasingly being used, they The energy requirements of the growing still make an insignificant contribution to the totaleconomy and the rural energy needs are strong energy supply. The availability and potential fordrivers for the exploitation of renewable energy the utilisation of these renewable energy resour-technologies in Zambia. In addition, environ- ces is summarised in Table 4.mental and health concerns of utilisation of Besides these renewable energy resources,traditional biomass energy have strengthened Zambia has geothermal energy potential thoughthis need for renewable energy technologies. it has not been examined in great detail. It hasZambia has set a goal in its poverty reduction more than 80 hot springs which are associatedstrategy paper to increase the access rate to with zones of major deep seated fault and fractureelectricity in urban areas to 70% by 2010. At the systems along which water circulates to greatsame time, it has been recognised that electrifying depths and is heated through normal geothermallarge parts of the rural population through gradients. Preliminary interpretations ofconventional grid services cannot be attained. geochemical data and estimation of subterraneanExtending grid electricity to households in rural temperature for some of the springs by the DoEareas can cost seven times more than supplying point to the existence of potentially exploitableurban areas with grid electricity. It is estimated low enthalpy geothermal reserves in most partsthat for a country like Uganda, which has similar of the country. At present, there is no geothermalenergy and economic characteristics as Zambia, exploitation in the country.it would take 250 years to supply all householdswith electricity at current rates of electrification 4.1.1 Zambia’s Energy Policy and Renewable(DFID, 2002). Energy Technologies4.1 Renewable Energy Potential in Zambia Energy policy development in Zambia has generally been slow. The 1994 energy policy According to the Department of Energy represents the first comprehensive national(DoE) of Zambia, renewable energy resources in energy policy in the country. The developmentthe country comprise solar energy (thematic and of this energy policy was preceded by thephotovoltaic); small hydro; biomass (agricultural establishment of the Ministry of Energy andwaste, forest waste, industrial waste, energy Water Development in 1991. The establishmentcrops and animal waste); geothermal; and wind. of the Ministry and the formulation of the energyLarge hydro electricity facilities are no longer policy were seen as important milestones in the
  • 7. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 181Table 4: Availability and potential of renewable energy resources and technologies in ZambiaRenewable Energy Opportunities/Use Resource Availability Potential EnergySource/Technology OutputSolar Thermal (Water heating) 6-8 sunshine 5.5kWh/m 2/day (Modest PV-Electricity(Water pumping, potential for irrigation) lighting, refrigeration)Wind Electricity, Mechanical Average 2.5- 3m/s Good potential (Water pumping) especially for irrigationMicro-hydro Small grids for electrification Reasonably extensive Requires elaboration and quantificationBiomass Electricity generation, Animal waste, municipal Potential requires(Biommethanation) heating and cooking and industrial waste, elaboration waste waterBiomass Electricity generation Agro-waste, forest waste Potential requires(Combustion and and sawmill waste. elaboration andGasification) quantificationBiomass (extraction, Ethanol for blending with Sugarcane Sweet 15, 000 ha toprocessing for transport) gasoline to replace lead as Sorghum Jatropha meet current band octane enhancer Bio-diesel for stationery engineBiomass Improved charcoal production Sawmill wastes and Reasonable extensive(for household energy) Improved biomass stove indigenous trees from sustainable forest managementSource: Zambia Department of Energy (DoE, 2005)recognition of the sector’s importance in national mentation has been extremely poor. Very fewdevelopment. The energy policy is the basis for demonstration projects have been establishedthe development of the country’s energy sector. to showcase the viability of renewable energyThe main objective of the policy is to promote technologies in the country. The University ofoptimum supply and utilisation of energy, Zambia and the National Council for Scientificespecially the indigenous forms and to facilitate Research which are involved in energy researchthe socio-economic development of the country are grossly under funded and are unable toand maintenance of a safe and healthy effectively carry out their research projects. Theenvironment (GRZ, 2002). The policy recognises training centre specifically established to providethe potential role renewable energy technologies training to energy practitioners (Kafue Gorgesuch as solar energy can play in meeting the Training Centre) has no course on renewablecountry’s energy demand and provide for the energy technologies other than hydro-electricity.following:• Promotion of renewable energy technology. 4.1.2 Integration of Renewable Energy• Promotion of wider application of Renewable Technologies (RETS) in Zambia’s Energy Technologies (RETs). Development Plans• Promotion of information dissemination on the use of RETs. The development plans based on the 1994• Promotion of education, research and energy policy have equally put more emphasis training in RETs at various levels. on grid hydro-electricity at the expense of other However, the role of renewable energy is renewable energy technologies. These plansovershadowed by the dominant focus on hydro- include the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paperelectricity for which (unlike other renewable (PRSP), Transitional National Development Planenergy sources) there is a clear investment (TNDP) (2002-2005) and the recently launchedstrategy and defined targets. This focus occurs Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) fromdespite the recognition that providing hydro- 2006 to 2010. The PRSP acknowledges theelectricity to all remote areas in Zambia is importance of harnessing renewable energypractically impossible. Furthermore, 12 years resources to meet the country’s energy needs.since the formulation of the policy, imple- However, no investment strategy or targets for
  • 8. 182 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONrenewable energy technologies are defined in the the fact that the majority of the rural populationPRSP. Renewable energy technologies are again does not use charcoal but wood fuel in itsovershadowed by a heavy focus on hydropower. unprocessed form. It is quite worrying that theFurthermore, the PRSP does not clearly establish promotion of efficient production and utilisationthe link between energy and rural development. of wood fuel in the plan is reduced to a strategy The transitional national development plan for reduction of charcoal use and not seen as an(TNDP) set out the goals, objectives, strategies energy objective in itself.and activities for national development from 2002 The TNDP has now been replaced by theto 2005. A critical look at the TNDP also shows Fifth National Development Plan (2006-2010). Thethat renewable energy technologies have in renewable energy objective of the FNDP is toreality been ignored. There are four energy provide and disseminate up-to- date informationobjectives in the TNDP (Table 5). on RETs in order to increase awareness and As can be seen from Table 5, the TNDP is promotion of these technologies. Although thequite vague when it comes to renewable energy FNDP explicitly points out its focus on bio-fueldevelopment. Of the four objectives, two inte- development, it is rather unclear on othergrate renewable energy technologies in strate- renewable energy technologies such as solargies, activities and programmes. RETs, other than and wind. The plan has no specific strategies,hydro, are only recognised in the role they can programmes, targets or investment goals for solarplay in reducing charcoal use and are consi-dered and wind energy technologies. Clearly,under the programme for intensification of renewable energy technologies have not beenawareness campaign on deforestation. Even given the attention they deserve in the nationalwhen renewable energy technologies are energy policy and development plans. This ismentioned as a strategy under objective 2, in perhaps, one of the major hindrances toterms of activities, the plan stresses on solar promoting a widespread use of RETs in Zambia.photovoltaic technology and efficient charcoalproduction. Although wind, solar thermal, 5. USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGYgeothermal and modern bio-energy technologies TECHNOLOGIES: THE CASEcan contribute towards the attainment of the OF LUNDAZI DISTRICTTNDP energy objectives 1, 2 and 3, they are notexplicitly integrated in the energy strategies, Lundazi District is one of the largest districtsprogrammes and activities. in the Eastern province of Zambia. It occupies In addition to meeting the said objectives, an area of 14,068 Km2. The district has a populationRETs can contribute to economic development of 256,980 people and is predominantly rural withthrough employment creation and business only about 20,248 people (7.8%) living in the urbanopportunities for the country’s entrepreneurs. area which constitutes the administrative centreFurthermore, the inadequacy of the TNDP lies in of the district. The number of rural householdsTable 5: Renewable energy integration in the TNDPTNDP TNDP objective RET Strategies RET Programmes RET Activitiesobjec-tive No1 Increasing electricity access from the - - Development of micro- current 20 percent to 35 percent hydro grid power stations2. Reducing Production of Charcoal by Intensification of Encourage use of Efficient use and about 400000 tonnes by 2010 awareness of activities new and renewable production of charcoal under deforestation energy Resources. Promote efficient Install Photovoltaic production and use technologies of charcoal3 To increase electricity export by 300% - - - by year 20104. To supply and utilise petroleum in the - - - most efficient and cost effective mannerSource: Author’s analysis from TNDP (GRZ-MFNP, 2002)
  • 9. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 183totals 46,738 (LDDP, 2005). Only the adminis- is currently pegged at K45, 000.00 (US$12.0). Thetrative centre is connected to grid electricity. solar home systems have a capacity of 50 Wp.Electricity in the district is imported from More than 75 percent of the company’sneighbouring Malawi. clients are government employees. At the The predominant source of energy for the beginning, the company had 18 peasant farmersrural population (92.8% of the total population) and 18 small scale entrepreneurs as part of itsis firewood which is used for cooking, heating, clients.baking and beer brewing. Candles (47%) and At the time of this study only 3(16.7%) of thekerosene (53%) are used for lighting while human 18 small scale farmers were still clients of theand draft animal power is used for agricultural ESCO. Eighty-seven (87%) of small scale farmersactivities. Solar energy technologies and wind withdrew from the service. Similarly, only 5 (27.8%)machines constitute the only new renewable of the small scale business persons are still clientstechnologies being used in the district. Biomass of the energy service company. Further more, atenergy is used in its unprocessed form. Geother- the time of the study 20% of the systems weremal and micro-hydro energy exploitation is non- not operating and the clients had reverted to theexistent in the district. use of candles and kerosene lamps. The battery was identified as the main constraint the clients5.1 Solar Home Systems (SHS) faced in the use of the solar home systems. All the solar home systems that stopped working At the household level, solar home systems were due to the expiry of the battery. This problemare the predominant renewable energy emerged because most users connected muchtechnology being used. One hundred and fifty bigger electric appliances such as radio cassettes(150) solar home systems have so far been and colour TVs to the system.installed through a government project suppor- At the moment, solar home systems in theted by the Swedish International Development district are the preserve of the elite rural workingAgency (SIDA). The project has adopted the class. In fact, one third of the solar home systemsEnergy Service Company (ESCO) approach in are located in a national service camp and thethe dissemination of this technology. On the basis monthly fee is paid by the government.of this approach, the Lundazi energy service The energy service company has clearly failedcompany was formed and the government leased to reach out to the farming communities becausethe solar home systems to the company which in of their low incomes which can barely sustainturn rents the solar home systems to users on a the monthly rentals. The modal income of thefee for service basis. The energy company is rural communities is below 120,000 Kwacha (USresponsible for servicing the solar home systems $ 30) and well below the national modal incomeand collects the fees on a monthly basis from the of 150,000 (US$ 37.50) – 300,000 (US$75.00).clients. The monthly fee for solar home systems According to Ellergard and Nordstrom (2001), ESCO Solar Home Systems users in the District Number of users 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Civil servants farmers entrepreneurs Attendants Rural Health chiefs Schools Traditional Agricultural National Small-Scale Small-Scale camp Service camp Category of users Fig. 6. ESCO SHS clients at the company’s beginning (2001)
  • 10. 184 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONthese households actually spend between one billion people worldwide and create 2 millionK10,000 (US$2.50) and K20,000 (US$5.00) a month jobs in production, installation and maintenanceon energy. (EPIA, 2006) In terms of willingness to pay, the majorityof the households are willing to pay up to 5.2 Household Use of Solar ThermalK10,000(US$2.50) only for improved energy Technologies and Other Renewable Energyservices with only 13% ready to pay more than TechnologiesK30,000(US$7.50). This scenario has significantimplications for the future of renewable energy The results of the survey indicated that notechnologies in Zambia. The solar energy users households have access to solar cookers, solaron the other hand have modal incomes between water heaters, and solar driers and improvedK920,000 (US$230.00) and 1,040,000 Kwacha cooking stoves. In addition, the majority of the(US$260.00). These elite constitute less than 2% respondents (87.5%) indicated they did not evenof the total rural population and have similar know about solar thermal technologies nor seencharacteristics as the urban middle class. any. While most of these technologies are Despite the fact that solar home systems are mentioned in the energy policy of Zambia andat the moment the exclusive preserve of the rural are known in some parts of the country, it is clearelite, their adoption by rural dwellers has that they are not common. Awareness on the usedemonstrated their applicability in rural settings and the availability of these technologies areand possibility to help raise awareness of the clearly inadequate. Consequently, the populationsystems usefulness to rural households. Today, continues to rely on charcoal and firewoodthe Lundazi energy service company has more despite their grave environmental and healththan 300 prospective clients on their demand list. impacts.Further more, the households have reportedseveral benefits they derive from using the solar 5.3 Renewable Energy Technologies and Ruralhome systems. More than 50% of the Institutionsrespondents identified improved lighting, radioand TV powering as the main benefits of the SHS. The institutions that use renewable energyImproved lighting has enabled the household technologies in Lundazi district include the healthmembers to undertake activities in the night. For sector, education and natural resources manage-example, school children are able to study and ment sectors. Solar energy, which is the mostprepare their exercises. exploited, has found various applications in these Gustavson and Ellegard (2004), who carried sectors. Table 6 provides an overview of the useout a detailed study of the impact of solar home of solar energy in Lundazi.systems on rural livelihoods in Nyimba, a districtin eastern province of Zambia, also point out 5.3.1 Health Institutions and Solar Energythat 50 % of solar users interviewed identifiedimproved lighting as the major benefit of solar Lundazi District has one Public Generalhome systems. Furthermore, 58 % mentioned Hospital, two missionary hospitals, an urbanstudying at night as an activity they could not clinic and 24 Rural Health Centres. The Generaldo before the installation of solar home systems. Hospital and urban clinic are both connected toFor users involved in small scale businesses, grid electricity, while only one health centreimproved lighting has helped them to extend their bordering Malawi is connected to hydro-working hours and thus improve their daily sales. electricity. The latter is the only non-urban healthSolar home systems are proving to be a centre that is connected to grid electricityrevolutionary technology in Zambia’s remote basically because the line servicing the mainrural areas. It has great promise in facilitating a town from Malawi passes right above the healthchange in lifestyles in a significant manner. centre. The lack of energy to power refrigeratorsWorld-wide trends indicate that the photovoltaic for drug storage and microscopes forindustry is one of the fastest growing industries, Tuberculosis (TB) detection was a majorwith 35% average global market growth forecast hindrance to the delivery of quality healthover the next decade. It is also estimated that in services in the district. According to the district2020, solar energy can provide electricity to over health authorities, solar energy’s equipment and
  • 11. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 185Table 6: Existing solar use in Lundazi: Community levelSector Powered Facilities BenefitHealth Solar Refrigerators, Solar radios, Improved health services Solar Microscopes, Solar GeysersEducation School lighting, Teachers Improved education services and housing lighting teacher motivationWater Drinking Water Pumping Improved drinking water qualityCommunication Telecommunication and TV Transmitter District access to National TV servicesNatural Resources Solar Fencing Reduced conflict between man and wildlife, ManagementIncome Generating Community group owned lodge Improved lighting for clients and increase in income availabilitySource: Field Data, 2007Table 7: Health facilities powered with solar energy and Treatment of TB patients in their respectivein Lundazi District clinics have contributed towards the increase inFacility solar powered Number TB cure rate from 62% to 72% in the area.Rural Health Centres 17 Solar powered radios are used to improveStaff Houses 27 communication in the health sector. They areHospital Refrigerators for Drug storage 16 important for communicating importantMicroscopes 09Solar Geysers 2 information on emergencies such as raptures ofRadios (for messaging) 24 uteruses where pregnancies are concerned. TheSolar Powered Water Pump (Panels stolen) 1 radio is also important in terms of referral casesSource: Field Data from Lundazi District Health Board, and consultations, especially that all these health2007 centres do not have ambulances and have tofacilities are having a significant impact on the radio the district office to send a vehicle tohealth sector (Table 7) transport referred patients. According to the The use of solar refrigerators allows the district authorities, of all cases in the healthdistrict to store vaccines for distribution to rural centres, one out of two uterus rapture preventionhealth centres. Therefore, vaccines can easily be is due to the direct use of radio messages. Inaccessible to rural populations without going to terms of consultations, none of the 24 healththe urban health centres. The district, like all other centres has a resident doctor. The health officersparts of the country, has high rates of child and in charge of these health centres use radiomaternal mortality. For example, the maternal messaging to consult the doctors based at themortality rate stood at 649 deaths per 100,000 in district general hospital.1996 and increased to 729 per 100,000 in 2002. One Solar energy is also seen as a morale boostermeasure taken to reduce child mortality is for health staff because electricity generatedcompulsory vaccination against polio, tuberculosis through solar PVs has greatly improved their(TB), measles and many other diseases. working and living environment. All the health Tuberculosis is one of the diseases that are staff interviewed expressed happiness andcausing a great stress on the public health indicated that the environment was clearly moresystem in Zambia. In 2000, the prevalence rate motivating than before. The staff indicated thatwas 512 per 100, 000 population. The use of solar the use of solar home systems has enabled thempowered microscopes in the district has ensured to have access to facilities such as TV, video,an increase in detection of TB. The microscopes radio and light for reading. One of the respon-are used to test for sputum. In the past, people dents is even connected to digital satelliteavoided TB testing as the centre was at the television right in the remote setting about 70Kmdistrict hospital which is quite far from remote from the urban centre.areas, some areas being as far as more than 100kmfrom the district hospital. 5.3.2 Education and Solar Energy With the acquisition of solar poweredmicroscopes, a 25% to 30% increase in the The Ministry of Education in the district wasnumber of people tested has been observed in among the first sectors to realise that the use ofhealth centres that are solar powered. Testing solar energy can greatly improve pupil’s learning
  • 12. 186 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOONand working conditions. According to the energy will significantly help to develop thedistrict education officer, solar energy can help tourism industry in the district and boost ruralstudents to study at night, enable boarding development.students have access to improved lighting andfacilitate the use of radio and TV. Further more, 5.4 Wind Energy Exploitation in the Districtsolar energy can be used to power sciencelaboratories, ICT equipment and other teaching Apart from solar energy, the only otheraids. renewable source of energy that is being However, compared to the health sector, exploited in the district is wind energy. So far, thewhich has 70% of rural health centres powered district has five wind powered water installationsby solar energy, less than 45 % of the rural using wind mill technology. Three of the installa-educational institutions have access to solar tions are installed at health centres and are usedenergy technologies or any new renewable to pump water for the health centre and healthenergy technology besides wood fuel. This gap staff houses. One wind machine is being used atin the performance of the two ministries can a private farm about 10 km from the administrativeperhaps be explained by the fact that while the centre. All the wind machines in the district areMinistry of Health has only 24 rural health for pumping water only. While wind energycentres, the Ministry of Education has 143 technologies hold great promise for use ineducation facilities to provide solar energy. A agricultural irrigation and provision of cleansurvey conducted by the Energy Regulation drinking water, their use is dogged by the sameBoard (2006) in the same area indicates that solar problem as those of solar energy technologies.energy is enabling students to study longer They are well beyond the purchasing power ofhours in the night and some schools have the average small scale farmer and are thereforerecorded improved examination results and limited to institutional buyers.increased enrolment because solar energy is While water machines hold great potential inacting as an attraction of students to schools Zambia for supplying water to households andthat have electricity. farms, the DoE points out that wind energy in Zambia is not particularly suitable for electricity5.3.3 Solar Energy and Other Sectors generation. Wind data collected at 10 meters indicate speeds of between 0.1 to 3.5 meters per The Zambia Telecommunications Company second with an annual average of 2.5m/s.(ZAMTEL) was the first to use solar energy Compared to South Africa and Namibia, Zambiatechnology in the district; it has a transmitter has few wind energy installations. In 2001,that is powered by solar energy. This technology Zambia had only 100 installed wind machineshas enabled the district not only to access tele- country-wide against 30,000 and 100,000communications services but also to have access machines for Namibia and South Africato the National Television network that is depen- respectively (Karekezi, 2001). Worldwide, thedant on the ZAMTEL satellite transmitter. This wind energy market is led by Europe with 65is a significant contribution towards improving percent of the total installed capacity (Globalcommunication and rural development. Wind Energy Council, 2006). In addition, solar fencing is a technology thatis being used in the Valley area by the Wildlife 5.5 Bio-Energy Use in the DistrictConservation Society (WCS). This area is locatedmore that 80 Km from the town centre and has no The Lundazi rural population in the district isaccess to the grid electricity. Solar energy is still using wood-based energy in its unprocessedused to light WCS staff houses and fence gardens form. Among the 80 households interviewed inof farmers living close to the game management this study, none currently has access to improvedareas to keep off wild animals. Solar fencing in biomass stoves. Like solar thermal technologies,the area has helped to reduce the conflict improved stoves or any modern biomassbetween humans and animals. Apart from solar technologies are not known in the district. Onlyfencing solar energy holds great potential for 11 (12.5%) of respondents indicated they werewater heating and providing air condition in aware of improved biomass stoves. There aretourism facilities in the area. The use of solar neither demonstration projects nor any aware-
  • 13. PROMOTING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 187ness campaigns on biomass technologies in the situation in Lundazi district reveals the followingdistrict. Interest in modern biomass energy challenges:technology is relatively recent in Zambia. The • There is an increasing, but slow adoption ofrealisation that biomass can deliver energy in renewable energy in Lundazi district. Themany forms-liquid, gaseous fuels, heat and range of adopted RETs remains narrow withelectricity-is the reason for the emerging interest. solar home systems leading in households.Figure 7 shows the many forms biomass energy Wind energy is predominantly used for waterresources can take through the transformation pumping in rural institutions. Geothermal,processes from raw biomass materials to bio- micro-hydro, solar thermal and modernfuels, bio-electricity and bio-heating energy. biomass technologies remain unexploited, It is envisaged that biomass energy can both in the district and the country as acontribute significantly towards poverty allevia- whole, despite enormous existing potential.tion and lead to a reduction in importation of • There is a general lack of research andpetroleum products. Zambia is also considering development in RETs and this is linked main-the exploitation of sugar cane, sweet sorghum ly to lack of funding of research institutions.and Jatropha as possible sources of bio-fuel • Unlike other sectors of the Zambian economy,(ERB, 2006). The need to develop bio-fuel has few initiatives exist for awareness raising andbeen articulated as a development objective in information dissemination of RETs. Thisthe FNDP and has received a budgetary situation can partly be explained by theallocation for 2007/2008. incapacity of the department of energy itself which is more or less a Cinderella department. 6. KEY CHALLENGES OF RETs It has no presence at the provincial and IN ZAMBIA district levels. Consequently, there is a general lack of awareness of RETs in the district. The examination of the renewable energy • The prices of RETs are a major inhibiting Fig. 7. Biomass conversion process to bio-fuels (Source: EUBIA, 2006)
  • 14. 188 ORLEANS MFUNE AND EMMANUEL K. BOON factor in the dissemination of these techno- policy makers and planners should be logies. Today, the price of solar photovoltaic strengthened for the common purpose of system averages around US$ 900-1000 for a promoting RETs. 50 Wp Solar home system and US$ 1200 for • The DoE needs to be restructured, streng- a 100 litre capacity solar geyser. Further more, thened and extended to the provinces and a wind machine costs over US$ 2,500. On the districts in order to make it more responsive other hand, the modal income of Zambian to the energy needs of the population. More households is between ZK 150,000 (US37.5) renewable energy demonstration projects and ZK 300,000.0 (US$75.0). While the price should be implemented in the rural areas. The of most RETS on the world market and in applicability of these technologies and aware- Zambia has experienced a general fall, the ness raising on energy resources should form reduction is largely insufficient to induce the important elements of promotion activities. rural population to actively engage in the • The ESCO approach allows for the most renewable energy market. affordable payment system for RETs like the• Dissemination of RETs is also hindered by Solar Home Systems. This should be streng- inadequate policy, poor integration of thened by targetting subsidies towards low renewable energy in development plans and income households. inadequate commitment to effective policy • The national energy policy and plans need implementation. to the establish annual investment goals,• For RETs such as solar thermal technologies strategies and targets for RETs deployment and solar home systems, there are no active to rural areas. Energy planners need to be manufacturers in Zambia. All components of actively involved in development planning solar energy technologies are imported from at all levels (national, provincial and district) countries such as Japan, France and South for RETs to be properly integrated in deve- Africa. In addition, companies that deal in lopment planning. renewable energy technologies are located • The government needs to create incentives in the main cities on the Copperbelt and for the private sector’s participation in RETs Lusaka Provinces and lack distribution in rural areas. Further efforts should be tar- networks in the countryside. There are no geted towards the involvement of credit or retail outlets for RETs in Lundazi district. financial institutions in financing renewable Most retailers do not perceive RETs as viable energy projects business opportunities. 8. CONCLUSION 7. RECOMMENDATIONS It is clear that Zambia has enormous renewable In order to overcome the above mentioned energy resources that can play a significant role inchallenges, the following recommendations are meeting the energy needs of the country.proposed: Decentralised RETs such as solar energy have• Promotion of RETs should not just be limited proved to have a wide range of applications in to solar home systems and wind machines households, health, education, natural resources for pumping water. Studies need to be management and telecommunications sectors. conducted on how best to exploit geothermal Though the exploitation of renewable energy is energy, small hydro, biomass and solar still in its infancy, there is no doubt that these thermal technologies. technologies can play a significant role in the• To stimulate research and development in development of rural areas. Despite the fact that renewable energy technologies, government RETs are poorly integrated in development plans, should create an R &D fund for RETs to be there are signs of a growing desire by energy used by the University of Zambia Energy policy makers and planners at the national level Research Centre and the National Council to integrate RETs in policies and plans in Zambia. for Scientific Research. The research should The Zero rating of customs duty for solar energy be centred on development of appropriate technology components, the scrapping of licence and affordable RETs for rural areas. In fees for solar companies and this year’s budgetary addition, collaboration between researchers, consideration for biomass energy exploitation are
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