The effects of climate change such as the recent El Ni├▒o has affected the majority of African countries’ generation capacity, especially those depending on hydropower. This phenomenon has caused the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to have a projected low energy supply, recorded around 8,200MW.
This has resulted in SADC heads of state and government declaring plans to commission new power projects that will add 4,000MW of electricity to the regional grid in 2017.
According SADC executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax: “In 2017, it is envisaged that new power generation amounting to about 4,000MW will be commissioned.”
“This phenomenal increase in power generation, the highest ever in the region to date, will contribute immensely towards alleviating the current power deficit in the region,” she noted.
From 2015, some of the SADC’s regional countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia to mention a few, have had to implement demand side management programmes such as load shedding, which has badly affected socio-economic growth.
In South Africa, state-owned power utility Eskom has lately been reporting the successful synchronisation of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme’s units, anticipated for full operation by 2017. Once completed, all four units of the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme are expected to produce a total of 1,332MW.