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Electricity in Zambia in 2022

Global Ranking: #67
88.9% #17 Low-carbon electricity
114.14 watts #151 Generation / person
113.31 gCO2eq/kWh #23 Carbon Intensity

In 2022, Zambia generated around 19.5 TWh of electricity, with more than 85% of it coming from low-carbon sources. Hydropower contributed the vast majority at 17 TWh, while the rest came from fossil fuels, specifically coal, which totaled about 2 TWh. This reliance on mainly clean hydropower positions Zambia distinctly compared to the global average of 432 watts per person. The country's electricity consumption per person is lower, which could limit its economic development and restrict access to modern amenities and infrastructure.


To increase its low-carbon electricity generation, Zambia can look to countries that have successfully diversified their clean energy portfolios. For instance, China has seen substantial growth in both wind (886 TWh) and solar (584 TWh) energy. India and Brazil have also made significant strides with solar (113 TWh) and wind (96 TWh) respectively. These can serve as models for Zambia to expand its wind and solar capacities. Additionally, nuclear energy is worth considering, given its success in countries like the United States (775 TWh) and France (336 TWh). By learning from these countries, Zambia can build a robust, diversified low-carbon electricity grid.


Zambia has experienced fluctuations in its hydropower generation over the decades. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, the country saw declines of 1.3 TWh and 1.6 TWh followed by increases of 1.3 TWh and 1 TWh. The mid-1990s were similarly unstable, with drops of 2.5 TWh in 1992 offset by a gain of 1.6 TWh in 1993. Moving to the 2000s, there was a growth period in the 2010s with gains each year from 2011 to 2014, followed by reductions in 2015 and 2016. Recently, the output surged with increases of 3.3 TWh in 2021 and 1 TWh in 2022, demonstrating the potential for more consistent and higher production. This history underscores the importance of diversifying energy sources to ensure stability and reliability in electricity generation.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2000 to 2022 the data source is Ember.
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