SR article

Energy use of rural villages in Zambia

This article will give an insight in the current energy use and show the general circumstances in two rural villages in Zambia.

For the implementation of the solar mini-grid there are two potential villages, open-minded towards the solar mini-grid. They are located in the Chitambo District, Central Province and in the Kalomo District, Southern Province. This article will give an insight in the current energy usage and show the general circumstances in these villages. [1]

Facilities in the villages

Both villages have a school and a market. The first village has a health centre, a Women's Farmers Association, a palace and palace museum, a telecommunications tower, churches and a local court. The second village has a chief's palace, a rural health centre, a community centre, Food Reserve Agency shed  and a police post. [2]

Energy use at the moment


Firewood, charcoal, small solar panels, kerosene, candles and dry cells are the most used sources of energy in the villages. Candles, devices on solar panels, kerosene and dry cells work for a duration of 2 to 6 hours, and this is mostly at night. Firewood is collected in the bush and charcoal is locally produced, this means that most people do not spend anything or hardly anything on firewood and charcoal. Dry cells and candles respectively cost 30 cents and 50 cents each. Kerosene costs 80 cents per litre. The initial costs of a solar system varies between the big range of $15 and $1000.

Solar energy use

mini solar system village

As mentioned above many villagers already use small scaled solar systems, with a Watt Peak capacity of 10 to 300. The solar power is mainly used to have lights and charge phones. Furthermore it is used for radio and television. Read this article to find out what devices the villagers would like to connect to larger solar systems. 



[1] = All information about the villagers is from research conducted by the project team of Necor and FuturaSun.

[2] = Food Reserve Agency, ‘About Us’, (5-10-2016), 

"The Food Reserve Agency's (FRA) mission is to ensure national food security and provide market access for rural based small holder farmers by maintaining a sustainable national strategic food reserve."