‘Clean energy for all’: the implementation of Scaling Solar in Zambia

Publication Date09 July 2018
AuthorSusann Stritzke
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Clean energy for all:
the implementation of
Scaling Solar in Zambia
Susann Stritzke
School of Geography and the Environment,
Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment,
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review critical success factors (CSFs) for the implementationof the
Scaling Solar Programme in Zambia, the first solar public-private partnership (PPP) in the country.
Design/methodology/approach The single case study is based on stakeholder interviews and the
evaluation of primary and secondary sources of data. As a first step, the study illustrates the implementation
of Scaling Solar in Zambia and links it to the formal PPP frameworkof the country. The second step compares
central CSFs for PPPs identified by previous research with the current framework of the programme.
Furthermore, it analyses whether these CSFs have affected the PPP project implementation in Zambia. Based
on these findings the question discussed will be which CSFs can be identified that impacted the
implementation of the programme in a third step.
Findings The case study found that the design of the Scaling Solar Programme largely mitigated the main
financial and political risks identified in previous studies with regard to the uptake of energy infrastructure
processes in developing countries. It reveals that government stakeholder alignment and institutional
capacity are the central CSFs which impact the roll-out of the programme in Zambia.
Originality/value The study suggests that a pre -implementation phase of a comp lex PPP project should
comprise government s takeholder alignmen t which can be based on appro aches to Relationshi p
Management Theory. By s uggesting a stakeholder management a pproach, the study indicates how a PPP
framework, with a rede fined role of a horizontally inte grated, independent Public-Pr ivate Partnership Unit,
can support this approach.
Keywords Zambia, Renewable energy, Sustainable Development Goals, Public-private partnerships,
Photovoltaic, Scaling Solar
Paper type Case study
1. Introduction
The implementation strategy of access to clean and affordable energy for all is the seventh
of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is closely related to other SDGs,
such as climate change mitigation, economic growth, and an end to poverty. This is relevant
to most developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa which face serious energy
shortcomings, due to growing energy demand, a lack of infrastructure investment, and
the impact of climate change, which itself particularly affects those countries with a high
dependency on hydropower (International Energy Agency, 2014). The World Bank has
designed the Scaling Solar Programme as an initiative to increase access to clean energy
according to the SDGs (IFC, 2017a, b). This programme is designed as a one-stop-shop
solution for governments in Africa to facilitate privately funded on-grid photovoltaic (PV )
energy projects which can be implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner (Fergusson
et al., 2015). The Scaling Solar Programme has been set up as a public private partnership
(PPP) comprising an auction-based government-led procurement and PV site-selection
processes to achieve competitive tariffs. In addition, the programme offers advisory
services, staple financing, and long-term risk guarantees in order to mitigate operational
risks in a nascent PV market, and the creation of bankable projects in a comparably short
timeline (Fergusson et al., 2015).
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Vol. 15 No. 3, 2018
pp. 214-225
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/WJSTSD-11-2017-0042
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