Energy Diversification in Zambia

A recent report by BBC News highlighted the threat to energy security in the southern African nation of Zambia posed by structural instability at its aging Kariba Dam.  The dam, constructed in 1959 to capture hydro power from the Zambezi River, is a key source of electricity for both Zambia and neighboring Zimbabwe. 


Partson Mbiri of the Zambezi River Authority told the BBC that the dam’s spill gates are in need of maintenance and that the costs of a potential structural failure would be disastrous.  Although Zambia’s government has allocated funds for the repair of the Kariba spill gates, Mbiri emphasizes that the nation’s energy future cannot depend on the dam alone and must diversify.  This is an especially pressing concern in the face of the effects of climate change, which can cause instability in water levels and thus in the amount of hydroelectric power production.


The GIC has compiled sets of public domain innovation related to a number of renewable energy sources.  For Zambia’s geography and climate, solar and wind power would be advantageous ways for the country to diversify its energy sources by aligning its natural abundances with its needs.


The GIC set on Solar energy contains over 10,300 pieces of public domain innovation in Zambia, while the set on Wind Power Generation reveals that over 8,500 documents describing the relevant technologies have no legal protection in Zambia.


View the complete GIC sets on Solar and Wind energy by country here:




BBC News. “Weak Kariba Dam walls threaten Zambia’s energy security.” 16 Jan. 2015.

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