The first of 6 demonstration pilot projects launched in Zambia to showcase EU's supported approach on involving private investment in solving the problem of rural electrification with innovative mini-grid technologies

2nd of July, 2021

The demonstration project will ensure energy access to more than 130.000 people

NTU International is happy to announce that one of the beneficiary companies, Standard Microgrid Initiatives Limited (SMZ) under the contract “Capacity Building for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects” funded by the European Union Development Fund and overseen by the National Authoring Office in Zambia, have fulfilled all the preapproval requirements for grant effectivity and has been given the greenlight to begin implementation. The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is the Implementing Agent and with NTU will support and monitor the development of the Demo Project.

This Demo Project will ensure energy access to 130.500 people and will change their lives.

A successful project will carry ramifications for millions: Zambia   exhibits 350   buildable   microgrid   sites, making 1.3M people viable candidates for microgrid electrification. This project can demonstrate Africa’s first scaled microgrid utility, accelerating access in Zambia and beyond.

Through their previous work in Zambia, SMZ have successfully been granted blanket permitting and tariff approvals from the Energy Regulation Board, portfolio preapproval from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency, and demonstrated success obtaining local land permits.

The main objective of the project under SMZ, is to deliver clean, long-term energy access to 130.500 Zambians over 5 years and to specifically demonstrate the scalability and replicability of SMZ’s business model to enable additional private investment in Zambia, while setting the groundwork for similar investments in new markets.  The Demo Project will also deploy targeted Franchising and Productive use interventions to enhance the microgrid economic model. NTU International will continue to help facilitate and support the successful implementation of this grant for the benefit of the Zambian economy.

You can read more about the Rural Electrification Authority of Zambia and their latest activities here: