Assessment of Solar Energy Source Distribution and Potential in

Assessment of Solar Energy Source Distribution and Potential in
Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Vol.5, No.2, June 2017, pp. 103~116
Available online at: http://pen.ius.edu.ba
ISSN 2303-4521
Assessment of Solar Energy Source Distribution and Potential in
Zambia
Mabvuto MWANZA1, Jamel CHACHAK1, Numan S. ÇETIN1, Koray ÜLGEN1
1
Solar Energy Institute, Ege University
Article Info
ABSTRACT
Article history:
Zambia is vastly endowed with a wide range of energy resources. Yet, to date,
Zambia has not fully exploited its potential in solar energy utilisation for
electricity generation due to various reasons such as lack of understanding of
the distribution of solar energy potential in the country and limitation of
access to solar energy resource information. This paper assesses the solar
energy distribution and potential in Zambia. Nine provinces with different
geographical and climatic regions that makes up Zambia were assesed. The
distribution of solar radiation within the country were assessed using spatial
analysis in ArcGIS Software. The 22year period solar datasets were
considered for assessment. These datasets were obtained from NASA
Atmospheric Science Data Center using Surface Meteorology and Solar
Energy. The analyzed results indicate that Zambia has approximately
20,442TWh/year technical solar energy potential and receives
2109.97kWh/m2 of solar energy per year with 4403.12hours of sunshine. The
country has 186,121km2 available and suitable land area for RETs
implementations. This study is important as it present an overview of the
technical solar energy potential for Zambia which is vital for decision making,
energy mix and sustainable deployment of solar energy technologies in the
country.
Received Jan 03rd, 2017
Revised Apr 04th, 2017
Accepted June 16th, 2017
Keyword:
Solar energy potential
Zambia
Solar Radiation
Renewable energy technology
Photovoltaic
Corresponding Author:
Mabvuto MWANZA,
Solar Energy Institute,
Ege University,
35100 Bornova, Izmir, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]
1.
Introduction
Energy is one of the basic necessities for the survival of human race. It is also important for the progress of
the nation and essential factor for economic development. In other words, the absence of access to energy has
a negative impact on human race and any country’s economic development. The use of solar energy
technologies nowadays is increasing in the world and most of the countries are trying to follow the move [1].
This has resulted in studies in order to assess the energy potentials and also show the need to use renewable
energies in order to protect our planet and the environment around us [1, 2]. Sustainable deployment and
implementations of any energy projects and diversification of energy for generation mix within any country,
the fırst step involves identifying and assessing the energy source potentials of that country [1, 3, 4]. However,
in most developing countries like Zambia the availability of solar energy resource information is limited due
to lack of wide distribution of meteological stations for collecting weather data across the country [1]. This
has resulted in little research and challenges in thorough assessment of solar energy potential in the country.
As such, satellite solar datasets are the best alternative to use for assessing solar energy potential for most
developing countries [3, 4, 5]. Satellite datasets have been used in many researchs and have showed that there
was good correlation with the local measured datasets [4, 6].
DOI: 10.21533/pen.v5i2.71
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MWANZA et al.
The paper aims at studying and assessing the solar energy source distribution and potential in Zambia. For this
purpose, the paper focuses on assessing the solar energy potential for nine provincess that makes up Zambia.
As the country is targeting to reach sustainable development goals with the target of increasing access to
energy for rural and urban areas in Zambia [7], therefore, this study is a must and very important for decision
making, generation mix, and deployment of various solar energy technologies in the country.
The rest of the paper is structured as follows. In section II, a brief description of study area is given, followed
by the description of energy sector in Zambia in section III. The section IV focuses on stating the renewable
resources in Zambia. While section V focuses on the methodology and data collection and section VI deals
with the models used. The section VII mainly focuses on the analysis of the results and finally the conclusion
of the paper is summarized in section VIII.
2.
The Study Area
2.1. Geographıc Descrıptıon
Zambia is located in the heart of Southern Africa at the latitude of 8 to 18 degrees south of the equator and
longitude 22 to 34 degree east of prime meridian with an area of 752,614 square kilometers [8]. Over 98.77%
of Zambia’s surface is taken up by land leaving only 1.23% covered by surface water such as rivers, streams,
lakes and other inland water. It has no access to the sea or ocean. The country is surrounded by eight
neighboring countries namely; Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to the North,
Angola to the West and Namibia to the South West; Botswana and Zimbabwe to the South; and Mozambique
and Malawi to the east as shown in fig. 1 below [8, 9]. It is divided into nine provinces with 72 districts,
namely; Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, Western, North Western, Copperbelt, Central, Luapula and Northern
provinces as shown in fig. 2. It has a population of approximately 14,638,510 people (2014 estimates) of
which 58% lives in rural area and 42% lives in urban areas [8, 10, 11]. According to [8, 12], only about 3% of
the rural population are electrified leaving the majority of the population to depend on wood fuel and other
traditional energy sources for their household energy needs. This lack of access to electricity and modern
services undermines the pace and scope of economic development in the nation. Furthermore, it is also one of
the major obstacles for poor people in Zambia to move away from poverty and take development into their
own hands and upgrade their quality of life. This has also caused unimaginable deforestation and
desertification of the woodland to almost irreversible levels in some parts of the country [13].
Figure 1. Zambia Location and Neighboring Countries and International Grid [7, 14]
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Figure 2. The Provinces and Districts in Zambia
2.2. Electricity Industry in Zambia
The electricity supply industry in Zambia mainly comprises of a vertically integrated state utility, Zesco, and
an energy service company Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) that purchases power from Zesco and
supplies it to the mines [15, 16]. In addition, two Independent Power Producer, Lunsemfwa Hydro Power
Company (LHCP) and Zengamina Power Company (ZPC) and some small-scale solar based energy service
companies supplying power to some rural areas also participate in the industry. Zesco currently dominates
electricity generation, transmission, distribution and supply in Zambia [13].
2.2.1.
Electricity Supply
The electricity supply in Zambia originated in 1960 when a small thermal station was built in Livingstone to
serve a section of the town. Since then the supply system has grown, as of 2013, the country have installed
capacity estimated at 2000MW [15]. However, the generation available out of the installed capacity is
1895MW of which about 90% comes from hydro source. Of the total installed capacity about 93% and most
of off-grid installed capacity are owned by Zesco. LHCP and CEC are the biggest private operators in the
country owning a capacity of 52.5MW and 80MW respectively. While ZPC is one of the smallest private
operator owning a capacity of 750kW off-grid system and supplying electricity to 745 customers in NorthWestern Province. Table 1 summaries the main players in electricity sector in Zambia [13].
Table 1. Main Players in Electricity Sector [17]
Power
Station
Kafue Gorge
Kariba
North Bank
Victoria falls
Lusiwasi
Off-Grid
Lusemfwa
Mulungushi
Gas Turbine
Off-grid
Off-Grid
2.2.2.
Capacity
(MW)
990
1080
Type of
Technology
Hydro
Hydro
108
12
49
28
24
80
0.75
0.06
Hydro
Hydro
Hydro/Diesel
Hydro
Hydro
Gas
Hydro
Solar PV
Operator
Zesco
LHPC
CEC
ZPC
REA
Energy Demand
The electricity consumption in Zambia has been rising steadily estimated at approximately 6% per year (150200MW). The peak demand varies depending on the season; the winter peak demand was about 1450MW
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while the summer peak demand was about 1400MW as in 2009. However, in 2014 the peak demand was
forecasted to be between 2,260MW and 2,612MW [16, 18]. The energy demand is expected to reach
16.6TWh by fiscal year 2020 and 21.6TWh in fiscal year 2030 respectively [19, 20].
As in many other Sub-Saharan African Countries, traditional wood fuel such as charcoal and firewood has
remained the major energy source in Zambia contributing about 70% to the total energy demand [8, 13].
While, hydropower contributes about 14% to the total energy use and it is the second most used source.
Petroleum products accounts for about 12% of the national energy demand. However, coal contributes a small
share of about 2% to the total energy supply, despite its good potential in the southern province. Other energy
sources such as renewable energy only contribute about 2% to the total energy balance in Zambia. Figure 1
summarizes the contribution of different types of energy sources [13].
Figure 3. Total Primary Energy Supply [13, 17]
2.3. Renewable Energy Resources
2.3.1.
Hydropower
The existing estimates of hydro potential in Zambia stands at about 6,000 MW excluding small, mini and
micro hydro potential, which is estimated at 45MW [21]. Only about 30% of the estimated Zambia’s hydro
potential has been harnessed. The Government of Zambia through Rural Electrification Authority has
identified 29 locations of mini hydro schemes in the North-Western and Northern Luapula provinces of
Zambia. Nonetheless, in order to increase harnessing power from hydro, the government of Zambia is /has
continued studying the development of several projects as listed in table 1 below [15].
Table 2. Hydro Potential Sites in Zambia [13, 15, 16, 19]
River
Kafue
Kalungwishi
Luangwa
Kabompo
Luapula
Zambezi
Lufubu
Mita Hills Reservoir
Mpika
2.3.2.
Description
Kafue Gorge Lower
Itezhi Tezhi
Kalungwishi Hydro
Lusiwasi Extension
Kabompo Gorge
Mambilima Falls
Mombututa Gorge
Lunangwe falls
Batoka Gorge
Devil’s Gorge
Mpata Gorge
Chavuma Falls
Ngonye Falls
Lufubu
Mulembo/Lelya
Muchinga
Mutinondo/Luchenene
Capacity (MW)
750
120
247
40
40
698
490
96
1600
1000
543
10-20
80
80
280
230
70
Biomass
Conversion of Biomass to electrical power potential stands at 500 MW of which 447 MW could be from
Agro wastes, 46 MW from forest wastes and 4MW from municipal wastes [19]. Currently Zesco in
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conjunction with Global Environment Facility (GEF) /United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO) plans to install a 1 MW biomass power plant in Kaputa District in order to replace the current
440kW diesel power plant [7, 19, 22]. Furthermore, according to feasibility done by SNV and Hivos in 2012
shows that sixteen (16) of the country’s 72 districts have biogas potential (livestock manure) for electricity
generation [21, 23].
2.3.3.
Geothermal
Estimates further indicate that Zambia has potential of generating electricity from geothermal sources; the
country has 80 hot springs, of which 35 have potential for power production. Currently, the Government of
Zambia is considering constructing a 2 MW of geothermal power plant in Kapisya, Western Shore of Lake
Tanganyika. At present, there is only one small-scale 240 kW pilot project that was developed with the
support of Italy in 1987 [7, 19].
2.3.4.
Solar
According to the previous studies and data undertaken by Meteorological Department of Zambia, the country
has a significant potential of solar energy for both power production and thermal from solar energy
technologies. The country is situated at the latitude of 8 to 18 degrees south of the equator and longitude 22 to
34 degrees east of prime meridian with an average sunshine of about 6-8hours per day and high monthly
average solar radiation incident rate of 5.5kWh/m2/day throughout the year [7, 13, 19, 24].
To show its comment in increasing access to energy, the Government of Zambia through Rural Electrification
Authority (REA) has embanked in PV projects such as installation of a 60 kW solar Off-min grid in Mpanta,
Samfya district of Luapula Province, which is supplying about 50 households [24]. Furthermore, REA has
installed about 250 solar PV systems in schools and buildings of traditional authorities as well as 400 solar
home systems under the Energy Service Companies (ESCO) pilot project [7, 13, 24].
However, a thoroughly assessment of the solar energy potential in terms of distribution and extractable
potential for energy generation throughout the country has not been done. For this reason, this study is
important to undertake a thorough assessment of solar energy potential in Zambia in order to help the decision
makers and accelerate RETs deployment in the country [7].
2.3.5.
Wind
The country has an ideal plateau landscape which offers some locations where there is potential for wind
energy exploitation. This wind energy as a potential area for power generation has not been exploited due to
among other reasons the few studies on wind and lack of wind atlas. However, despite the absence of a
comprehensive wind atlas for the country, meteorological data recorded over the past three decades indicates
that the country has generally untapped wind energy. Estimates measured at height of 10meters indicates that
most parts of the country have the wind speed average of 3m/s, the Western Province and Kasama in Northern
Province are nonetheless areas with high wind speed with averages of 6m/s suitable for power production [7,
19, 25].
3.
Materials and Method
There are four main types of solar energy potential assessment, namely: resource potential, technical potential,
economic potential and market potential as shown in fig.4 [26]. However, currently the assessment of solar
energy potential in many countries including Zambia often results only in theoretical resource potential
(resource potential) which only indicate the amount of radiation at the country’s surface [1, 13, 27]. However,
for decision making and sustainable deployment of solar energy technologies, it is extremely important to
know how much of the available resource potential is extractable for use i.e. technically in terms of capacity
and generation. In addition, it is also vital to know how much of the country’s surface area is available and
suitable for solar energy technology implementation [1, 27].
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Figure 4. Levels of Solar Energy Potentials Assessments [26,28]
Thus, based on the previous works that were done in various countries the methodology used in this study is
built. The methodology is aimed at assessing the solar energy potential that can be extracted for future energy
generation mix in Zambia. The approach considers solar radiation, sunshine hours, available and suitable land
areas for PV implementation and system performance [1, 27]. The procedure involved four main steps and for
analysis of the data, both simulation and analytical approach were adopted in this study.
Firstly, using ArcGIS the study area were divided into small Zones. Zambia is located at latitude 8 to 18
degree north of the equator and longitude 22 to 34 degrees east of prime meridian. Thus, for thorough
assessment of the solar energy potential and its distribution within the country, the study area were divided
into 130 zones, then several satellite datasets i.e. solar datasets were extracted within each zones from several
points (square) which was made up of latitude and longitude [5].
Thereafter, data were prepared in excel for use in ArcGIS for spatial analysis, for solar source distribution
assessment. The restricted areas for RET implementation were also extracted from various literatures [1, 29].
For simulation, both ArcGIS and Photovoltaic GIS software and analytical approach (excel) were used.
The outcomes of this study were the solar energy potential and its distribution within Zambia. To quantify the
solar energy potential and its distribution within Zambia, the following factors were used; the Monthly
average solar radiation [1, 2, 4, 21, 30, 31, 32, 33]. Monthly and Yearly Solar Energy Potential [21, 31], Solar
Power density, Total Yearly Sunshine hours [1, 31], Theoretical solar energy potential for Zambia [21] and
Technical power and generation solar energy potential [1, 21, 26] in Zambia considering available area for
solar energy and other factors that affect PV technologies.
The final step involved analysis of the results to form the conclusion on the solar energy potential and its
distribution in Zambia.
3.1. Theory/Calculation Models
3.1.1.
Array Model
The technical solar energy potential is the energy produced by the arrays taking into consideration the
efficiency of the PV technology and some other factors such as losses due to weather condition i.e
temperature and dirt covering the module, and the losses due to power conditioning [16]. Therefore, the
energy available for supply to grid has been calculated using (1) given as:
E
AC

A
PV
 1  1 . 
.H R.
p
p
(1)
C
Where EA is Energy output of PV system (kWh/year) APV is Array Area (m2), HR is solar radiation on the
module (kWh/m2-year), p is module efficiency, λp is miscellaneous module losses (i.e due to dirt covering
assumed at 10%), and λC is Power conditioning losses, assumed at 5%.
Module efficiency is a function of its nomial efficiency, r which is measured at a reference temperature
Tr=250C [16]. İt is calculated as:

p

 .1  T c T r 
r
(2)
.
Where  is temperature coefficient for module efficiency, Tc is module temperature, Tr is reference
temperature.
Module temperature is related to the average monthly ambient temperature Ta [16, 17] as given below:
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T
C
;  30.  0.0175(Gt 300) 1.1(Ta  25)
(3)
.
Where Gt is Solar irradiance (W/m2), Ta is ambient Temperature (0C), NOCT is Nominal Operating Cell
Temperature, it depends on type of module used, and Ta is ambient temperature (0C).
3.1.2.
Capacity Factor Model
The capacity factor is a model used to show the amount of energy delivered by an electric power generation
system [4]. It is defined as the ratio of the output actual annual energy generated by PV system to the amount
of energy the PV system would generate if it is operated continuously at full rated power for 8760 hours in a
year and it has been evaluated using (4) [4,26]
CF
.

E
8760 P
(4)
AC
PV
Where CF is capacity factor (%), EAC is Actual annual energy output (kWh/year), and PPV is Full rated PV
power (Wp).
3.1.3.
Solar Energy Potential Model
A. Theoretical Potential Model
Theoretical solar enrgy potential involves the assessment of the solar energy that is received on the surface of
the study area. This potential involves identifying the study area boundary and the size of the study land area,
including annual average daily solar radiation magnitude. Thus, the theoretical potential has been calculated
using (5) as expressed below;
E
TH

A . H .T
S
P
TSH
(5)
Where EG is Theoretical Solar energy potential (MWh/year), AADS is Active Surface Area (km2), HR is Solar
Irradiance (MW/km2), and TT is Yearly total Sunshine hours (hours/year)
B.
Geographical Potential Model
Geographical solar energy potential involves assessing the solar energy that is received on the available and
suitable land area[21]. Thus, the process of assessing this potential involves firstly excluding the restricted
land areas for solar energy technologies deployment and development such as agriculture areas, roads, surface
water bodies areas, protected national parks, game reserves and forest reserves, areas under the transmission
and distribution line and unsuitable land area for solar energy technologies deployment and development such
as lands with bad slopes of more than 3% slopes, the unsuitable area has been estimated at 566,493km2
according to literatures [21,26]. Therefore, the remaining land area is taken as the most suitable land area for
solar energy technologies deployment. Thus, the geographical solar energy potential has been estimated using
(6) as given below.
E
G

A .H
AOS
R
(6)
.
Where EG is Geographical Solar energy potential (kWh/year), AADS is Available Suitable Area (m2), and HR is
Total average yearly solar radiation (kWh/m2-year)
C.
Technical Potential Model
Utility-scale photovoltaic is define as a large-scale PV power plant that can be deployed within the boundaries
of the country on an open space [26]. The process of assessing the extractable energy potential from the sun
for any country involves firstly by excluding areas not suitable for this technology within the defined
boundaries [21, 26]. Considering the estimated geographical potential and technical characteristics of PV
generation systems to convert the solar energy to electrical energy, the country’s available technical solar
energy potential can be estimated as using (7) below [21, 26]:
E A
T
AOS
. p .CF ..T TSH
PD
109
(7)
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Where ET is Solar Energy Potential (MWh/year), AADS is Study Area Available Suitable Area (km2), PPD is
Study Area Power density (MW/km2), CF is Study Area Capacity factor (%), and TTSH is total hours in a year
(8760).
4.
Results and Discussion
Fig. 5 shows that the solar source across the country is not evenly distributed as it is a case in most countries
due to geographical differences. However, most of the districts in Zambia receives higher annual average
daily solar radiations with the lowest solar radiation of 5.51kWh/m2-day and highest of 6.23kWh/m2-day in
fewer places. Thus, it can be noted that, all the districts in Zambia have potential for deployment of any type
of solar energy technologies for various applications.
Figure 5. Solar Source Distribution and Potential in Districts of Zambia
Fig. 6 shows that most of the provinces in Zambia have radiations above country’s annual average radiations
of 5.78kWh/m2-day, with Western, Southern, Northen, and part of Luapula provinces having the most
attractive annual average radiation above 5.80kWh/m2-day. It further shows that the country receives the
annual solar radiation which rangs from 5.51 to 6.23kWh/m2-day.
Figure 6. Spatial Annual Solar Source Distribution for Zambia
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The study of monthly variability of solar radiation in the Provinces and Zambia is very important for planning
the power grid management and monthly generation mix [21]. Fig. 7 compares the provincial variability of
monthly average daily solar radiation. It is worth to note changes in solar radiation for Luapula and Southern
provinces, that while the solar radiation in Luapula start raising up, in Southern Province the radiation start
droping until the month of June then it start raisiing again until October while for Luapula the radiation
continues raising until months of august and september then starting droping until december. This behave
shows the need of wide deployment of solar energy technologies in all provinces for optimal ultilazition of
solar energy.
Figure 7. Comparison of Provincial Variability of Monthly average Daily Solar Radiation
Table 3. Comparison of Theoretical Potential of Solar Energy in Provinces
Province
Luaska
Luapula
Central
Copperbelt
Eastern
Western
Southern
Northen
North
Western
Zambia
Total
Surface
area (km2)
Total Yearly Average
Solar Radiation
(kWh/m2-yr)
Total Yearly
Average Sunshine
Hours (hr/yr)
Solar Power
Density
(MW/km2)
Theoretical
Solar Power
(TW)
Theoretical Solar
Energy Potential
(TWh/yr)
21,896
50,567
94,394
31,328
69,208
126,386
85,823
147,186
125,826
2080,50
2111,26
2103,01
2098,02
2073,20
2151,41
2116,34
2126,73
2093,54
4405,55
4401,90
4401,90
4401,90
4401,90
4401,90
4401,90
4405,55
4405,55
472,25
479,62
477,75
476,62
470,98
488,75
480,78
482,74
475,21
10.340
24.253
45.097
14,932
32.596
61.771
41.262
71.053
59.794
45,555
106,759
198,512
65,729
143,484
271,910
181,631
313,028
263,425
752,614
2109,97
4403,12
479.19
360.645
1,587,963
Table 3 above shows the theoretical solar energy potential in the different provinces of Zambia. It can be
noticed that Northern Province, despite having lower yearly radiation as compared to Western Province, it has
highest theoretical solar energy potential which is due to its larger surface area.
Fig. 8 below shows the provincial and monthly variability of highest Monthly average solar radiation in
Zambia.It can be noticed that the month with the highest solar radiation across the Zambia changes monthly
and with location, this therefore shows the importance of need to distribute the solar energy technologies
across the country in order to optimize the solar energy potential.
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Figure 8. Provincial and Season Variability of Highest Solar Radiation
Most of the provinces in Zambia have high solar radiation (fig. 9) above 5.7kWh/m2-day except Eastern and
Lusaka provinces.
Thus, the country can be classified into three regions, low radiation regions with radiations below country’s
annual average daily solar radiation of 5.78kWh/m2-day, medium radiation regions with average radiations
same as the country’s annual average solar radiation of 5.78kWh/m2-day and higher radiation regions with
radiation above country’s annual average daily solar radiations of 5.78kWh/m2-day. These radiations
correspond to a theoretiical energy production between 2073,20 and 2151.41kWh/(m2-year). In addition,
fig.10 shows that the country can further be divided into two regions, long sunshine hours regions with
sunshine hours above 12.06hrs and short sunshine hours regions with sunshine hours below 12.06hours.
Figure 9. Provincial Annual Solar Radiation
Figure 10. Provincial Sunshine hours
Fig, 11 and 12 shows the national variability of monthly average of solar radiation and sunshine hours. Table
4 shows the natioanl monthly average of daily solar radiation, sunshine hours, maximum air temperature,
clearness index and wind speed. It can be noted that the country receives maixmum solar radiation, wind
speed and temperatures in the months of september and october and minimum solar radiations in the months
of January, June and December. While the long sunshine hours are experienced in the months of december
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and shortest in June. The country has solar irradiance of 479.19W/m2 and receives the annual average solar
radiation of 5.78kWh/m2-day and total yearly solar radiation of 2109,97kWh/m2-year with total yearly
sunshine hours of about 4403,12hours per year as shown in table 3 and 4.
Table 4. Variability of Monthly Average Solar Radiation and Sunshine hours in Zambia
Month
Sunshine Hours (hr/day)
Jan
Feb
Mar
Aprl
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Annual
Yearly
12,77
12,47
12,10
11,77
11,46
11,31
11,37
11,63
11,99
12,35
12,68
12,86
12,06
4403,23
Solar Radiation
(kWh/m2-d)
5,27
5,37
5,55
5,74
5,65
5,46
5,69
6,25
6,58
6,50
5,94
5,39
5,78
2109,97
T(0C)
K
Monthly Ave. Wind Speed (m/s)
25,08
25,44
25,58
25,96
23,31
23,37
23,39
25,99
29,48
29,89
27,86
25,57
26,07
0,46
0,48
0,53
0,61
0,68
0,70
0,71
0,70
0,66
0,60
0,53
0,47
0,60
2,94
2,94
2,90
3,36
3,41
3,64
3,93
4,22
4,66
4,24
3,78
3,27
3,61
T-Average Maximum Air Temperature
K-Clearness Index
Figure 11. National Variability of Monthly Average Daily Solar Radiation
Figure 12. National Variability of Monthly Average Daily Sunshine Hours
Table 5 below presents the details of module used to analyze the technical potential. Table 6a-6b below
summarizes the results of the study, showing the total estimated available area, theoretical, geographical and
technical solar energy generation and capacity potential in Zambia. Zambia has on average solar energy
potential of 2109,97kWh/m2-year with average sunshine of 4403,12hours per year. It has a total suitable land
area for utility-scale PV implementation of about 186,121km2 which accounts for 24.73% of the Zambia’s
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MWANZA et al.
total surface area. This area corresponds to geographical solar energy potential of 392,701TWh per year.
Taking into consideration capacity factor which is estimated at 22.55% using Polycrystalline PV technologies
and power density of 55.6MW/km2 the country has technical solar energy potential of about 20,442TWh/year.
Table 5. PV Module Parameters (Polycrystalline Silicon) [34]
Item
PV Module Max.Power (WP)
Optimum Power Voltage VMPP (V)
Optimum Operating Current I MPP (A)
Open Circuit Voltage VOC (V)
Short Circuit Current ISC (A)
PV Module Area (m2)
PV Module efficiency (%)
Temperature Coefficient P max (%/0C)
Nominal Cell Operating Temperature (0C)
Parameter
250
30.3
8.25
37.3
8.69
1.64
15.24
-0.47
25
Table 6a. Solar Energy Potential in Zambia
Available Suitable Area
Annual Average
Solar Energy Potential
Sunshine Hours
Solar Power Density
km2
186,121
kWh/m2d
5,78
kWh/m2a
2109,97
Hrs/a
4403,12
MW/km2
55,6
Table 6b. Solar Energy Potential
Energy Potential
Theoretical
Geographical
Technical
Power(TW)
360.645
89.187
10.248
Energy(TWh/a)
1,587,964
392,701
20,442
5. Conclusion
The study has presented the view of the theoretical, geographical and technical potentials of solar energy and
its distribution in Zambia. The data used in the study were extracted from NASA using Surface Meteorology
and Solar Energy and then analyzed. The study has shown that, the country have high technical potential of
solar energy for PV electricity generation and various applications. It has also presented variability and ranges
of magnitude of monthly average daily solar radiation in Zambia. From the results presented in the study, it
shows that the daily solar radiation in Zambia varies depending on season changes. The analyzed results also
show that Western province has the highest annual average solar radiation of 5.89kWh/m2-day while the
Eastern province has the lowest radiation of 5.68kWh/m2-day. It can be noticed that almost all the provinces
in Zambia experience a good solar radiation ranges. The Western province has an annual average solar
radiation range of 5.44-6.50kWh/m2-day, while Eastern province experiences the range of 4.99-6.78kWh/m2day. On the other hand, the Southern and Northern provinces have an annual average solar radiation ranges of
5.03-6.66kWh/m2-day and 5.07-6.70kWh/m2-day respectively. Meanwhile, the Northwestern province
experiences an annual average solar radiation range of 5.13-6.40kWh/m2-day and Central province receives an
annual average solar radiation range of 5.23-6.74kWh/m2-day. Furthermore, the Copperbelt province and
Luapula province experiences an annual average solar radiation of ranges 5.08-6.57kWh/m2-day and 4.956.55kWh/m2-day respectively. However, the country generally, receives annual average dialy solar radiation
of 5.78kWh/m2-day at ambient temperature of 26.070C with clearness index of 0.60 and wind speed of
3.61m/s. In addition, the country experiences a total yearly average solar energy of 2109.97kWh/m2-year with
yearly total avarage sunshine of 4403.12 hours. Having the total surface area of 752,614km2, the country has a
theorectical solar energy potential of 1.59million TWh per year on the horizontal surface. The total estimated
solar energy geographical and technical potential for utility-scale photovoltaic technology are
392,701TWh/year and 20,442TWh/year respectively. Zambia has higher estimated technical potential due to
relatively high solar radiation, sunshine hours, good temperatures and the availability of large suitable flat
land areas for PV technology deployment. With an ever increasing population, deforestation, energy demand,
and droughts which is affecting the hydropower systems which is the main source for electrical energy in the
country, solar energy appears to be one of the best effective solution for production of sustainable and clean
energy in energy generation mix in Zambia.
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MWANZA et al.
Acknowledgements
The authors are grateful to University of Zambia and Turkish Government for financial support.
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