UPND energy sector commendable
Published On August 15, 2023 » 676 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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THE United Party for National Development (UPND) Government has made various energy sector reforms aimed at improving efficiency, affordability, and sustainability.
This as a result of a strong plan the party in Government had even before it came into power and now Zambia is beginning to rip the benefits.
From the promotion of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and small-scale hydro power generation, to energy market liberalization to attract private sector participation; it has been a strong showing by the UPND in its first 24 months in power.
It is no wonder that they are receiving accolades from various sections of society.
Lusaka energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda hailed the sector reforms that have taken place in the first two years.
Dr Chikwanda noted that the country had shifted to the use of cleaner fuels, with sulphur diesel being outlawed as the commodity was not good for health and the environment.
He noted the successful conversion of the 1,710 km Tazama pipeline from transporting Co-mingled feedstock to refined low sulphur diesel, a significant milestone in the cost reduction plan, among others.
The energy expert assures that because of reforms in the fuel sector, the Government has waived an estimated US$300 million which could have been raised from consumers had this tax not been zero rated.
Another milestone scored by the Government was the completion of the commissioning of the remaining units at the 750Mega Watts Kafue Gorge Lower hydro -power station using locally raised resources.
This achievement puts into perspective the fact that funding to the Rural Electrification Authority has doubled from the previous allocation of K360 million in 2022 to K740 million in the 2023 National Budget.
Dr Chikwanda rightly observes that Government’s further signing of partnership agreements for renewable energy worth more than $7 billion, would change the country’s energy topography by focusing on other forms of energy.
All these efforts are clearly positioning Zambia to be net exporter of energy in the region but most importantly, be able to support the industrialisation drive that Zambia has embarked on.
It is expected that all players in the energy sector will support the various policies in place to grow the sector for the best possible outcome of the rest of the economic sectors.

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