Association demands active play of locals in power purchase agreements in solar industry


Government should structure the Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA) that will allow small scale solar companies to participate, Solar Industry Association of Zambia (SIAZ) has said.

SIAZ, an association of local solar dealers, suppliers and installers also called for more concerted efforts to upscale skills in renewable energy sector and drive the country’s green revolution agenda.

SIAZ president, Matanda Mwewa, said in an interview with Zambia Monitor on Friday that to upscale local capacity, there was need for the government to allow local solar companies to generate as low as one megawatt that would be added to the grid.

“It is surprising how the Zambian government quickly jumps into signing these PPAs with foreign Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and developers with dismay,” Mwewa said.

He said in reaction to the recently signed US$3billion PPA between ZESCO and a Chinese energy company that seeks to develop about 2,400 megawatts of solar energy.

Read more :National power supply receives 34 megawatts boost, as CEC launches solar project.

Mwewa observed that some of the PPAs create a challenging business environment for local industrial players in that foreign IPPs have exposure to cheaper funding sources.

“This can potentially limit the growth of competitiveness of local solar industrial players if left unchecked, I think the government should come up with deliberate policies to include locals as they formulate IPPs,” he said.

Mwewa said while the industry understood the need to stimulate the growth of the energy sector, there was a need to involve locals.

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