This is an official funding.


UNIDO Renewable Energy Based Electricity Generation for Isolated Mini-Grids (Zambia)

[ tags: Africa , Zambia , Carbon finance , Co-financing , Grant , Mitigation , Multilateral , Energy , Low-Carbon , Renewable Energy , Grant , Renewable Energy , Co-financing , Renewable Energy ]
Financing Types Stakeholders Amount Share Sector
GrantGEF$2.95 million39%Renewable Energy
Co-financingPublic-private partnership (National Electricity Utility of $4.556 million61%Renewable Energy
Total:$7.506 million
Project Summary

UNIDO is executing a GEF funded project to promote renewable energy based electricity generation for isolated mini-grids in Zambia. Different renewable energy technologies will be used to demonstrate technical and economical viability in remote non-grid connected areas in the north of Zambia.

The project will install a biomass-gasification power plant (1MW capacity) for electricity generation at the Kaputa region, a small hydropower station (1 MW capacity) at Shimunenga linking with productive uses and local production and a solar energy minigrid to introduce solar lighting to support fishing and other productive activities at night.

Part of the project funding will also contribute to a legal, institutional and policy framework that provides a favourable environment for the commercial deployment of renewable energy based mini-grids in rural areas of Zambia. This is expected to sustain further expansion of the market of these technologies. As partners during the project implementation the UNIDO International Centre on Small Hydropower (ICSHP) has played a key role emphasizing the positive impacts of south-south cooperation.


The project has a total budget of $7.506 million with a GEF grant amounting to $2.950 million and co-financing to the tune of $4.556 million. The generated electricity will be used for income generating activities in targeted communities and for other energy services. A strong focus has been put on the replicability of the project and the financial viability for local owners. For the Mini-hydropower scheme a Trust Fund Agreement with ZESCO, the National Electricity Utility of Zambia, has been signed recently, providing additional co-funding for the construction of the power plant to the tune of $3.55 million through the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ).

Funds from the GEF are being used to structure the project and initiate feasibility studies as well as for capacity building amongst private and state stakeholders in order to ensure a sound implementation.

Lessons Learned

N/A (on-going project)

N/A (on-going project)

All 3 mini grids are currently in the implantation stage with corresponding potential productive activities investigated and trained.

UNIDO, ZESCO (National Electricity Utility of Zambia), ICSHP (International Centre for Small Hydropower)