Energy security efforts in southern Africa Development Community (SADC)seem to be achieving results that has seen it enjoy surplus electricity generation since the beginning of the year.
According to statistics from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), mainland SADC member states had installed capacity of 59 539 Megawatts (MW) and operating capacity of 54 397 MW as of the end of April 2017 against peak demand of around 53 478 MW.
This has caused the generation capacity to exceed by 919MW, since the beginning of the year. Total installed capacity for all SADC member states is more than 60 670 MW. The excess is not only because of a slowdown in the South African economy due to a fall in mining and manufacturing production, but also due to the impact of a coordinated approach in implementation of the SADC energy programme.
The region has commissioned 4 180MW from new power projects and the rehabilitation of old power plants and has exceeded the target of 3 757MW for the year while Mainland member states are planning to commission more than 7 000MW of new generation capacity in 2017, a development that is expected to strengthen the region’s energy security.
The surplus generation capacity has come five years ahead of the initial SAPP target of attaining electricity self-sufficiency by 2022 when the power pool hopes that demand for power will match surplus. Figures from SAPP show that more new generation capacity were added to the power pool in 2016 than was previously anticipated.
SADC set its sights on transforming the region’s economies from trade in unprocessed natural resources to one where there is substantial value addition of raw materials and there is technology drive production capacity since 2014.
The ministers are going over the current status of SADC’s energy and water programmes with a view to developing strategies to hasten the pace of implementation of projects.