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LOAD SHEDDING TO AFFECT ECONOMIC RECOVERY – CHIKWANDA

THE announced six hours of load shedding will cost Zesco millions of dollars in lost revenue due to lack of adequate electricity to sell, Energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda has said.

Dr Chikwanda said load shedding is also a blow to the country’s hopes of rebuilding the economy.

He said the load shedding programme will not only cost Zesco colossal sums of money in lost revenue but will also affect businesses, households and the country’s Growth Domestic Product(GDP) to some extent if not well coordinated.  

And Dr Chikwanda has called on Zesco to update the nation how much revenue will be lost due to this new wave of load shedding.

 “I have consistently called upon Zesco to be a bit more transparent with informing the public how much revenue it loses each time it ran out of the electricity commodity to sell. My call has been in vain, yet Zesco is a commercial business,” he said.

He says it is unfortunate that Zesco has not diversified sources of energy despite co-habiting with the issue over the past 20 years.

 “As an industry captain, Zesco should have built even just a meagre 1MW by now to use as a demonstration of its diversification appetite like what Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has done. It can be argued that Zesco has become too comfortable with what is referred to as “success syndrome,” Dr Chikwanda said.

Dr Chikwanda has advised the government to give incentives to companies working toward diversifying sources of energy.

 “A private company has been drilling in search of geothermal energy in Zambia for more than 10 years with no incentive from the government despite generating interesting results,” he said.

Dr Chikwanda has since expressed concern at the slow pace to significantly diversify the energy sources even in the face of adequate donor support and climate change vulnerability. 

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