Opportunities and the importance of renewable energy are widely acknowledged within the SADC region.
Renewable energy, which is abundant in the region, is energy that is continuously and sustainably available such as wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.
On the other hand, energy based on fossil fuels is still available at affordable cost. This is the case with coal-based power from South Africa.
Development of a harmonized regional policy framework for new and renewable energy has been identified as an important step towards realization of SADC’s goal of achieving the balance between meeting the region’s energy needs and ensuring sustainability of the environment.
SADC is working on a draft Regional Renewable Energy Strategy, which seeks to promote the uptake of clean energy and ensure that southern Africa takes advantage of the numerous renewable energy opportunities that exist in the region.
According to the Energy Division of the SADC Directorate on Infrastructure and Services, almost all SADC Member States have energy policies in place while only three have so far developed renewable energy policies. These are Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
SADC data also shows that only Mauritius, South Africa and Zambia presently have renewable energy strategies in place while Mauritius is the only Member State with an existing renewable energy master plan.