South- South Cooperation’s Renewable Energy Technology Transfer Programme visits ZambiaOct 29, 2015
A Chinese delegation, with representatives from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, led by the Director General of Administrative Center for China's Agenda 21 (ACCA21) under the Ministry of Science and Technology (China), visited Zambia in a quest to set up Zambia’s centres of excellency in small hydro and solar technologies. The team comprised of experts in solar energy, small hydro power generation, wind energy and bioenergy.
UNDP China is supporting the project as part of its trilateral cooperation on renewable energy and hopes to find concrete solutions for rural electrification in Zambia. This will be done through technology transfer, capacity building of institutions in both china and Zambia and policy development from within both governments. The project aims to support the access to electricity through the creation of enabling environments for renewable energy technology deployment, removing market barriers for introduction of improved renewable energy technologies and finally through the strengthening of South – South Cooperation between Zambia and China.
One of the key activities of the project is the establishment of demonstration, testing and training facilities of priority technologies (solar and mini hydro) and visits by Chinese delegations that will support the establishment of these centres at the University of Zambia Department of Physics and Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre.
The recent visit by the Chinese delegation included; stakeholders meetings, working sessions with University of Zambia on solar energy technologies, working sessions with Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre and a private sector working Brunch.
The mission to Zambia was undertaken against a background of a rising energy crisis that has been triggered by reduced water levels in the reservoirs of the dams following poor rainfall. The Director General of ACCA21, Dr Guo Risheng noted that in every crisis lies an opportunity for change, and as such the rising energy crisis could be used as a catalyst for increased investments and adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar technologies.
UN Resident Coordinator for China Alain Noudehou states “this trilateral project is an innovative approach to south-south cooperation because the project enables countries in the global south to exchange – not just hardware in the terms of technology – but “software” in terms of national development experience and practice.” Cooperating countries can learn from each other especially from countries such as China that have achieved unprecedented development results over the past 30 years.
China’s experience in meeting energy demands can be attributed to the country’s investments in the energy sector and renewable energy technology, making it a global knowledge hub. The Director General of the International Centre for Small Hydro Power (ICSHP), Dr. Liu Heng, highlighted that China has about 73,000 MW installed capacity of small hydro and the International Centre is ready to work with Zambian counterparts to address energy development from small hydro sources. ICSHP’s mission is to promote small hydro power development in the world, and Zambia presents itself as an excellent regional centre of excellence.