SADC forecast to close energy gap by 2019

Extension of Morupule B power station by 300MW would be completed by 2019
Extension of Morupule B power station by 300MW would be completed by 2019

The market for independently produced power in the SADC region is expected to take a significant drop from 2019 since the region is envisaged to have become self-sufficient by then.

The 15-member bloc has been grappling with power shortage since 2007, with deficit estimated at 8,247MW at the end of June 2015.

Addressing the media in Gaborone yesterday during a technical session ahead of next week’s 35th Heads of State Summit, SADC director of Infrastructure and Services, Remigious Makumbe said based on planned projects, an additional 24,062 MW of new generation is expected to come on stream until 2019, about 70 percent of which is expected to be renewable.

“Power projects in the region have been lagging behind due to inadequate funding, low tariffs by member states and lack of off-takers, which affect signing of power purchase agreements.


It is projected that the required generation capacity and energy gaps will be met by 2019,” he said. Makumbe said it was likely that they would thereafter see the market for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) dropping as each government reviews their own position and becomes cautious.

“We have already seen some countries beginning to take greater care in committing to IPPs whose projects will mature beyond 2020,” he said.

In 2015, the region plans to commission 2,763 MW through different projects, with Demand Side Management (DSM) initiatives, which include load shedding and hot water load control, expected to save 6000 MW by 2018.

Hydro, thermal, solar and gas generation projects planned between now and 2020 include Angola (3551MW), Botswana (600MW), Malawi (1500MW), Mozambique (3345MW), Namibia (884MW), South Africa (12 553MW), Tanzania (1440MW), Zambia (1771MW) and Zimbabwe (900MW).

Botswana has currently gone out to the market to find IPPs in the construction of additional generation capacity. 

Meanwhile, the SADC Council of Ministers, which will meet on Friday, is expected to approve the establishment of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE).

The centre, which is funded by the Austrian Development Agency, will provide a regional platform for coordinating support from development partners to the region, on renewable energy. Makumbe noted that once approved by the council, the centre would be established in Namibia.

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