Electricity in Zambia

Electricity in Zambia
Electricity in Zambia
Figure 5 shows the breakdown of production by source in Zambia. The largest output was from the three ZESCO large hydropower plants and the SN Power plants - which supply power to the interconnected system. Together these plants generated 10,046GWh.
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Zambia is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa that takes its name from the Zambezi River which runs through the country, and forms its southern border with Zimbabwe. The country’s main source of wealth is its copper mines, and the economy has remained relatively strong during the recession, but is susceptible to commodity price swings. However the country remains poor, and access to electricity at around 20% is very low. Zambia relies almost exclusively on hydropower for its electricity, and generation is currently constrained by the limited generating capacity. New capacity is planned, but the government must rely on foreign investors or external donor agencies to supply the investment necessary. Both large hydropower and a coal-fired plant are planned, and investment appears to have been secured for at least two major projects. Meanwhile the government is investing in rural electrification. The country is a key member of the Southern African Power Pool, and provides a link between the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa through which power can be wheeled.

This report is a Country Profile, covering
  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment opportunities
  • Future project plans


  • An overview of the electricity market in Zambia.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Proven coal reserves in Zambia are over 30m tonnes.
  • Zambia has no oil reserves, but it does have refinery capacity and imports crude oil, as well as refined petroleum products. Annual consumption of refined petroleum products is 19.260bbl/d.
  • The most important energy resource for electricity production in Zambia is hydropower.
  • Solar potential in Zambia is high with average solar insolation of 5.5kWh/m2/d and around 3,000h/y of sunshine.
  • The transmission system in Zambia is operated by ZESCO. The main backbone is 2,310km of 330kV transmission line.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Zambia generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the national electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Zambia?

Date Published / Pages / Format

February, 2014 / 31 pages / PDF