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Energy Policy Brief Number 2, October 2010

How can SADC meet the region’s energy challenges?

1. The Challenge SADC’s overall objective in the energy sector is “to ensure the availability of sufficient, reliable and least cost energy supplies.” This is a broad and ambitious goal, and numerous studies have been carried out to find viable solutions. The challenge can be identified on two levels.

Large scale The inadequate availability of electrical power to meet the demand from industry, commercial activity, public institutions and households, generally perceived as the region’s “Power Crisis”, and extensively described and discussed over the last decade. Remedies include megaprojects requiring huge investments.

Small scale The inefficient use of basic primary energy, essentially biomass, among the majority of households in the region (more than 80 percent) that are not connected to the power grid. This crisis is less visible as it affects a part of the population without capacity and ability to speak up for their needs.


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Energy Policy Brief Number 1, August 2010

Expanding energy generation capacity in SADC

Challenges and Opportunities for Power Sector Infrastructure Development

The Southern African region has been experiencing power shortages going back four years due to a combination of factors that have contributed to a diminishing generation surplus capacity against increasing growth in demand. This situation has prompted some Member States to resort to various coping mechanisms that include load shedding as well as other demand-side management measures while longer term solutions are being sought to remedy the situation through improved supply.

Electric power is one of many sources of energy in SADC, along with fossil fuels and biofuels including biomass. Electricity in SADC comes from both renewable energy sources (hydroelectric, solar and wind power) and non-renewable sources (coal, diesel, natural gas and uranium).

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