The Energy and Environment Research Group (EERG) is a research and consultancy group within the Department of Physics of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Zambia. It has more than 20 years of experience in energy and environment related issues. It comprises a leading group of academic staff, technical staff and a crop of students committed to high quality and targeted consultancy, capacity-building and useful research in energy and environment. The group was put on the World Map in 1991 at the University of Zambia, when it organized the first Regional Workshop on Solar Radiation, Environment and Climate Change held from 22 to 27 July 1991. The group also draws staff members from relevant schools and departments of the University of Zambia depending on the nature of research or consultancy work of common interest. Hence, the Energy and Environment Research Group activities have contributed to improved social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability in the energy sector, through public-interest advocacy and understanding for policy-making and implementation.
The EERG group with other wings of government is involved in technical training and consultancy in rural electrification. The recent consultancy work with the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development saw the training of Energy Service Company (ESCO) technicians and the installation of over 400 Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the Eastern Province of Zambia. The training of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) personnel in 2005 on the procurement, design, installation and maintenance of Photovoltaic Systems is another vivid example.
The Energy and Environment Research Group has three sub-groups under its organization namely the Solar Energy Materials and Photovoltaic Systems, the Climate Group and Distance learning in Sustainable Energy Engineering Group.
The Solar Energy Materials and Photovoltaic Systems Group gets financial support from the International Programme in Physical Sciences (IPPS) based at Uppsala University in Sweden. Its major activities have been in both undergraduate and postgraduate training in Solar Energy Materials and applications. Through this project, a number of key equipment has been procured such as the Edwards Coating Unit E306A, Perkin Elmer Spectrophotometer Lambda 19, the I-V tracker, and the Integrating Sphere. The group has graduated two PhD students, ten (10) MSc students have been enrolled since 2007 and a number of undergraduate projections have been done at fourth year level of study in Physics. Some of the major activities in the group include; Undergraduate teaching and research projects supervision in Solar Energy Materials and Photovoltaic research, Doctorial and Masters Degree training and research in energy and environment related fields, Consultancy work with relevance organs of government and private institutions, Collaborative work with regional and international institutions, Research in sustainable energy development such as the optimization of Solar Photovoltaic systems and the analysis of the selective solar absorbers etc.
The Climate Group has been involved in Climate Modeling and Weather predictions according the Agro-ecological Zones. Its major activities include meteorological data analysis, statistical and dynamical down-scaling, detection and attribution of climate change, climate change impacts, mainstreaming climate change in various national institutions and government.
The Distance Sustainable Energy Engineering (DSEE) group is involved in the training of Master of Science students (MSc) in Sustainable Energy Engineering through e-learning with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden. It was formed in 2006 after a collaborative effort of Dr. Geoffrey Munyeme with KTH colleagues. The main purpose of the group is to provide the state-of-the –art education in the field of power generation by means of economically and environmentally sustainable systems and technologies. The programme runs parallel with programme at KTH and our students are connected on-line for lectures which are offered in English. The group receives a modest facilitation allowance annually and some additional amount for staff involved in students supervision.