LUSAKA, Feb 6 - Zesco says it is committed and will support programmes aimed at providing electricity through renewable energy.
Zesco managing director, Rodney Sisala said the benefits from such programmes in rural areas was immeasurable.
He said this in Lusaka on Wednesday during the stakeholders' workshop on renewable energy-based generation.
Mr Sisala said Zesco supported Government's policies and efforts to extend and supply electricity to rural population as it would provide means to industrial development and agriculture thereby improving the quality of life.
"In the recent past Zesco has been collaborating with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and other cooperating agencies such as UNIDO to explore ways of further development of mini grids of electricity from renewable energy sources, " he said.
He said that the company had also been working in conjunction with the University of Zambia to carry out this initiative in solar, mini hydros and biomass gasification mini grids.
He pointed out Samfya and Kaoma districts, Shiwangu site in Mpika, West Lunga, Chikata falls in North-Western Province and Kaputa district as areas of development of the solar mini grid small hydropower mini grid and biomass gasification.
He assured that as a key to successful implementation of these projects, Zesco recognised the technical knowledge and skills of the University of Zambia specialists.
Mr Sisala reasoned that rural electrification was being promoted in order to replace the unreliable and expensive diesel power generation.
"Many of the diesel stations have surpassed their normal service life and are very expensive to run.
In order to promote rural electrification and to replace costly diesel power generation, efforts are being made to find out suitable sites for small scale hydro power schemes," he said.
On commercialisation and whether this would entail carrying out only those projects deemed economically viable, Mr Sisala maintained that Zesco had an obligation to the people of Zambia by creating an electricity supplier to the last resort.