Energy Sector


Zambia’s energy resources include electricity (hydropower), petroleum, coal, biomass and renewable energy. It is only petroleum which is wholly imported in the country.

The Energy Sector in Zambia consists of three main sub-sectors namely: Electricity, Renewable Energy and Petroleum.



The installed generation capacity in Zambia is 3356.6 MW. The installed capacity comprises of 83 percent of hydro, 9 percent of coal, 5 percent of heavy fuel oil and 3 percent solar PV.

The mining sector remains the largest consumer of power at 51% of total generated electricity, followed by the domestic sector at 33%.

Installed Generation Capacity

Installed Generation Capacity

Zambia’s Electricity Sector Market Structure

Zambia’s electricity market is structured as a single-buyer market model with ZESCO acting as the unique off-taker and bulk retailer of electricity on the national interconnected system. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) contributes to electricity generation and operate their own assets but sell the electricity to ZESCO through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

Access to electricity

The proportion of the Zambian population with access to electricity is 34%.


Off-grid electricity market

There are several operational off-grid solutions in Zambia namely:

small hydro mini-grids


  1.  Hydro Power Station (1 MW) in Chinsali District
  2. Kasanjiku Hydro Mini Grid (0.64MW) in Mwinilunga Distric
  3. Zengamina Hydro Mini Grid (0.75 MW) Ikelenge District

Solar PV mini-grids

  1. Mpata Solar Mini Grid (0.06 MW) in Samfya District
  2. Engie Power Conner Solar Mini Grid in Kasengwa District
  3. Standard Micro Grid (0.025) in Ngwerere, Chongwe District
  4. Sorera Micro Grid ( ) in Luangwa District
  5. Muhanya Solar Micro Grid ( ) in Sinda District


  • In order to increase the utilisation of renewable energy resources, the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT) Strategy aims at promoting private power investments in renewable energy and addressing barriers that hinder investments in this sub-sector.
  • The REFiT Strategy is being implemented through the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (GET FiT) Programme with support from KfW, a German Development Bank. The programme involves the development of 120 MW of solar PV and 100 MW of small hydro.
  • The GET FiT Programme is financed through a EUR 41 million grant provided by the German Development Bank (KfW). The grant is meant for Technical Assistance facility and a viability gap financing mechanism for small hydros.
  • However, this has not yet been actualised due to the challenges by the electricity utility company agreeing to perform the role of off-taker.

 Off-Grid Taskforce Initiative

The Off-Grid Taskforce is a government-led platform which brings together representatives of various Government ministries, statutory bodies, the private sector and the Cooperating Partners to coordinate initiatives and activities in the off-grid electrification space. The Taskforce was established with support from the Office of the Vice President and in cooperation with major Cooperating Partners in Zambia’s off-grid space and these include: European Union, World Bank, IFC, Swedish Embassy, DFID, AfDB and USAID. It’s a multi-stakeholder platform that identifies and addresses off-grid market barriers thereby improving conditions for investment in the Zambian off-grid space, with the ultimate goal of expanding electricity access in rural and peri-urban areas in line with government objectives.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

This programme intends to address or promote efficient use and conservation of energy across all sectors of the economy e.g. LED bulks, efficient cook stoves and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).