The missing links in regional electricity supply

Grinding on: Morupule B is amongst generation projects which have a mismatch between installed and available capacity
Grinding on: Morupule B is amongst generation projects which have a mismatch between installed and available capacity

While Southern Africa’s electricity deficit has grown to beyond 10 gigawatts, some countries are reporting excess generation. The challenge is interconnectivity and financing these massive links. Regional technocrats think they’ve found the solution, writes MBONGENI MGUNI

Establishing regional electricity connections was not always as slow as it has been in recent years. Those who track regional interconnectivity remember the golden years where electricity utilities and their governments steamed ahead with linkages of increasingly higher capacity, lighting up large swathes of the region and laying the ground for socio-economic development.

According to records made available by the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), as early as the 1950s, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia connected, then Zambia and Zimbabwe linked up after Kariba Dam’s construction in the 1960s. From the 1970s and 80s through the early 2000s, interconnection was achieved between Mozambique and South Africa, Botswana and South Africa, SA, Botswana and Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zimbabwe; Mozambique, eSwatini and SA as well as Namibia and Zambia.

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