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Region targets energy adequacy by 2017

June 2013
SADC HAS revised to 2017 the target for eradication of an electricity deficit that has affected the region since 2007.

SADC energy ministers meeting in Lesotho in May noted that about 17,000 megawatts (MW) of new generation is expected to be commissioned between 2013 and 2016.

At least three percent of the planned generation capacity between 2013 and 2016 should be renewable energy from wind and solar. The ministers expressed confidence that the region will have sufficient generation capacity reserves after 2016.

They noted that the region plans to commission some 2,000MW of power in 2013 and “that it will have sufficient generation capacity reserves after 2016 if all projects are commissioned as planned, while energy adequacy will be achieved by 2017.”

The previous energy adequacy target was 2014 but progress has been hampered by the slow implementation of priority energy projects, mainly due to lack of funds.

The ministers resolved to provide necessary government support to accelerate project implementation and press for completion of electricity projects according to the planned timelines to ensure that the stated targets are met.

On electricity tariffs, the ministers said the region will not be able to comply with the decision of the SADC Council of Ministers to reach full cost recovery tariffs by the end of 2013.

They “noted that most Member States have embarked on a process to do so and urged Member States that have not taken the necessary steps towards cost recovery tariffs to do so as soon as possible and develop a roadmap by November 2013,” the ministers said.