CABINET has approved the Revised National Energy Policy, 2019 that is aimed at the development and management of the energy sector.

The Revised National Energy Policy 2019 builds on previous Policies of 1994 and 2008 and is anchored on the Seventh National Development Plan and Vision 2030.

The decision to approve the policy was arrived at during the 20th Cabinet Meeting chaired by President Edgar Lungu on Monday, November 4, 2019. The Revised Policy aims at facilitating open access regimes, cost reflective tariff in the pricing of energy services in order to promote investment, encourage the multiplicity of players in the energy market and promote alternative sources of energy such as geo-thermal, solar, wind and other technologies such as nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also approved for publication and introduction in Parliament of the Energy Regulation Bill, 2019.

The objects of this Bill are to, continue the existence of the Energy Regulation Board and provide for the licensing of enterprises in the energy sector and repeal and replace the Energy Regulation Act, 1995.

Cabinet is of the view that the Energy Regulation Act, Cap. 436, is inadequate in dealing with various issues related to the licensing of enterprises in the energy sector during this period, hence the need to introduce a new legislation.

The new legislation is in line with the approved Revised Energy Policy 2019 in addressing the energy problems the country is currently going through.

Cabinet has further approved the Electricity Bill, 2019, which aims regulating the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity so as to enhance the security and reliability of the supply of electricity; provide for the sale and purchase of electricity within and outside Zambia through power purchase and power supply agreements; provide the roles and responsibilities of various players in the electricity sector including providing for a Multi-year Tariff Framework.

Cabinet expressed the need to urgently address the current electricity challenges the country is going through due to the effects of climate change that have led to reduced water levels for electricity generation, thereby leading to reduced economic activity with increased electricity rationing through load shedding.

Cabinet emphasised that with serious implementation of the 2019 National Energy Policy, the Energy Regulation Act and the Electricity Act, the situation with regard to electricity generation and supply to industries and Zambians in general, should change in the shortest possible time.