Project Kick-off in Lusaka
NTU's team recently attended the project kick-off for “Capacity Building for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects”, a project supporting the Rural Electrification Authority in developing and demonstrating renewable energy schemes. For this project, our team will conduct feasibility studies for selected mini-hydro sites, conduct design of non-hydro mini-grid projects, development of call for proposals for demonstration projects, and support for implementation of the demonstration projects. The project has been funded by the EU and the aim is to achieve effective operation of the demonstration projects, long-term financial sustainability, and replicability of renewable energy schemes throughout the country.
The successful kick-off meeting for the project took place on the 26th February and brought together key representatives from the Rural Electrification Authority, National Authorising Office, EU Delegation to Zambia, and NTU. During the meeting, a clear definition of responsibility within the project was established and a detailed plan for effective implementation was set out by the project team.
After the kick-off meeting concluded, REA facilitated the smooth establishment of the project team in REA’s office to allow for full integration and the opportunity to co-create solutions with REA during the project implementation. A key component of the project is ensuring know-how transfer and strengthening of REA’s capacity in technical and management areas, especially relating to the preparation of pre-/feasibility studies for future renewable energy generation sites and knowledge of project management tools and models. In light of this, the project team’s location makes it easier to comprehensively assess REA’s current capabilities and develop a tailor-made capacity building program that ensures REA staff are able to successfully conduct renewable energy project preparation activities in the future.
Looking ahead: The selection of mini-hydro sites across Zambia
In the early stages, the project team have been committed to engaging with institutional stakeholders ahead of the formal launch event that will take place in late April with all key stakeholders. This event will allow for project awareness-raising and provide an opportunity for early engagement with the private sector.
Between the 18th and 25th March 2018, the project team are set to visit five potential mini-hydro sites, two in the Luapula province (Luongo and Chilongo) and three in the Northern province (Pule Wa Luangwa, Yangu Mwila Falls, and Lupupa Falls). Based on the site visits and lessons learned from previous renewable energy programmes in Zambia, the project team will analyse and propose a number of locations for prospective off-grid mini-hydro sites where pre-/feasibility studies should take place.