11 December 2012

Zambia: 'Prioritise Renewable Energy'

THE Renewable Energy and Biomass subcommittee of the Energy Sector Advisory Group has asked the Government to declare the biofuel industry a priority sector to accelerate the adoption and usage of clean energy in the country.

Renewable Energy and Biomass subcommittee chairperson Tyson Chisambo said there was need for the country to move towards the usage of clean energy and sustain the sector as a whole.

"The sector is awaiting a lot of things but the most important one is that of Government declaring the bio-fuel industry as a priority sector as this will help players to be motivated in the production and other things consequently contributing to national development," he said.

Mr Chisambo said declaring the sector as a priority segment would open the industry for more investment both local and international coupled with a number of incentives among them duty-free importation of machinery.

He said in an interview said that the sector was waiting for a number of incentives from the government.

Mr Chisambo said the sector was also in dire need of long-term funding as this would help it to significantly record positive growth.

He said developing the bio-fuel sector would help the country sustain its development as it was a cross cutting industry.

"Our target as a nation should be, to eventually sustain ourselves into energy independence because there can never be any meaningful development without energy," he said.

It was gratifying to note that the government has undertaken to buy all biofuels that would be produced in Zambia.

He said that the biofuels industry is eagerly waiting for the prices to be announced at which the government would buy the biofuels from producers in Zambia.

"We are happy that the government identified jatropha crop as an energy crop for value addition to be included in the clusters to be established in some districts in Zambia" he said.

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