UAE to inject $2bn into solar projects in Zambia


Zambia and the United Arab Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week towards the development of 2 GW of solar energy in the Southern African state.

The MoU provides for the establishment of a joint-venture between the UAE’s state-owned entity Masdar and Zambia’s state-utility ZESCO. The project seeks to diversify Zambia’s energy mix after repeated droughts have severely curtailed the country’s production of hydropower.

The new joint-venture will target the installation of 2 GW of solar PV power, starting with an initial phase of 500 MW.

The Government of Zambia has been committed to solar energy for several years and joined the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar Initiative in 2015. The competitive auction has already resulted in the commissioning of two solar PV plants in 2019: Enel Green Power’s 34 MW Ngonya facility and Neoen’s 54.3 MW Bangweulu facility.

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