Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Geothermal Country Notes
Zambia's wealth of available electricity generation from hydro power has resulted in a lack of progress in the development of other renewable energies. Although Government policy supports the use of renewables in general there is no specific policy for geothermal energy in particular. The country exports electricity surplus to its requirements and despite Government policy to raise the rate of access in both urban and rural areas, it is infeasible for rural areas to be supplied from the grid. To this end, a Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to administer Rural Electrification Projects (REPs) was established in 1994, with a view to the installation of mini-grids and/or stand-alone systems.
Exploration has shown that Zambia possesses in excess of 80 hot springs and that electricity generation could be possible by means of binary-cycle units. Two projects, at Kapisya and Chinyunyu, were formulated during the 1980s and although two Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators (280 kW) were installed at the former (for rural electrification), it never became operational owing to insufficiently high resource temperatures. The plan for the Chinyunyu hot springs was to build a health resort and provide electricity for the local community. A lack of funding precluded this project from proceeding.