Lack of access to energy hindering SADC industrialisation

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - The security of energy supply, access and generation within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are essential aspects in the industrialisation of the region, the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) has said.

In a side interview during the SADC Secretariat media briefing at Safari Court Hotel on Sunday, SACREE’S Executive Director, Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, said although all SADC member states have energy interconnection for electricity except for Malawi, Angola and Tanzania, lack of security of energy supply and access are hindering industrialisation in the region.

“Sharing power enables member states, who have electricity deficiency, to access energy from neighbouring member states.  For example, Malawi currently has a power deficiency and yet South Africa and Angola have excess power, but cannot access from the two countries due to lack of inter-connection,” said Ndhlukula.

“Electricity demand in SADC has increased from 2.5 to 2.8% per annum, which means we have an average of 60% of the region’s population not accessing power. As such, there is a need to improve the current interconnection.  Interconnections enable resource-sharing, which may be cheaper for member states to import than to locally generate. For instance, diesel generators are costly compared to the hydro power generation.”

He said interconnections have a positive impact, as the region would save the energy that it has and it also ensures even distribution of energy within the region.

Ndhlukula, however, mentioned that the issue of funding has been stagnating energy interconnection projects in Malawi and Mozambique; Tanzania and Zambia; and Angola and Namibia.

Meanwhile, funds have been secured for the three projects in the six countries but it is not yet clear when they will be completed.

SACREEE was established in 2015 by the SADC Energy Ministers and endorsed by 35th SADC Council of Ministers Meeting - Decision 61 ‑ with a mandate to promote increased access to modern energy services and improved energy security across the SADC region.

The organisation’s mandate is to implement the Regional Renewable Energy and Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan through the promotion of market-based adoption of renewable energy and efficient technologies and energy services

SACREEE is established on a sustainable basis through member states’ contributions, donor funding and cost recovery from services offered to projects.

 

 

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