Southern African Power Pool: Planning and Prospects for Renewable Energy

With the energy systems of many African countries dominated by fossil-fuel sources that are vulnerable to global price volatility, regional and intra-continental power systems with high shares of renewable energy can provide least-cost option to support continued economic growth and address the continent’s acute energy access problem. Unlocking Africa’s huge renewable energy potential could help to take many people out of poverty, while ensuring the uptake of sustainable technologies for the continent’s long-term development.

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2 thoughts on “Southern African Power Pool: Planning and Prospects for Renewable Energy

  1. Well all depends, I believe on the way RE is planned. If ever we continue the present model, which was imposed by the rebit (refit was thrown in the dust bin) we shall maintain a top down system where only the very large interests will gain for the development and a multitude of share holder will make sure that they can make big bugs out the sale of the power. Hence the same than presently. The power will continue to suffer because they will gain very little of the development and will not be able to afford the power price.

    The same money making machine that was kept from the apartheid time that profits the large interest and does not give a damn about the poor (as some would say).

    A model that is based on local economy by and for the local people would make a huge difference for the majority. But it would seem that we need a revolution for this. Tata Mandela had no choice but accept the system in 94 but the others have no excuses of not reviewing at a later stage,



    • Hi Pierre, I fully agree. RE, especially Solar PV and also biogas have the potential for distributed application, benefiting households and communities in many ways. According a recent presentation from ESKOM at UCT/ERC the LCOE of rooftop Solar PV is at Rc0.68/kWh! The remaining challenge is the financial system of the municipalities – they lose out on any energy efficiency and own-generation interventions. Storage – ESKOM builds hydro-pump Ingula, has 3 more potential sites available and natural gas is a good complement.

      The electricity system will turn around into a renewable energy driven system where conventional fills the gaps until we have achieved the 100% RE goal. This turn around will take some time, but it will happen.

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