University of Zambia to establish solar power labs

The University of Zambia plans to establish solar applied energy laboratories in a bid to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity in the Southern African country.

The move is expected to increase the use of solar energy especially in remote rural areas where there is a scarcity of electricity from the national grid.

The institution said Zambia has now matured enough to start producing its own solar energy technologies.

University of Zambia’s head of Energy, Environment and Research Group Prem Jain said the institution will spend $750, 000 in the establishment of the laboratories.

Like many other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Zambia is faced with challenges of electricity deficit with rural areas being the most affected.

But Jain said the coming of renewable energy would increase access to electricity in rural areas.

He said the University also wants to establish solar energy laboratories in order to offload graduates who can handle solar energy technologies in the industry.

He said solar energy technologies were suitable for Zambia including solar grid fed-in, off-grid, mini grid, solar micro systems and solar heating.

“We will spend $750, 000 in establishing of the laboratories that would increase access to electricity especially in rural areas,” Jain said.