Africa Must Diversify Energy Sources, Experts Advise

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African countries, especially those highly dependent on hydroelectricity should diversify power sources. This was stated by experts during a conference which started yesterday Feb. 21, in Johannesburg.

In the recent years, some African countries were hit by harsh dry spells that affected food security and power supply.

In Zambia, for instance, it caused a power deficit of 1000 MW in 2016 as production declined at Kariba dam. For the record, 99% of the country’s electricity was generated by hydroelectric dams. However, it has introduced coal-fired and solar power plants and now, hydroelectric dams accounts for 85% of the electricity.

Zimbabwe which shares several electricity infrastructures with Zambia was also forced to diversify its energy sources. During this same drought, Swaziland was obliged to import all the power it needed from South Africa.

Another example is Kenya which is obliged to use diesel generators to generate its energy. This is due to a decline in electricity produced by hydroelectric dams. This increases the costs.

For the record, in 2015-2017, all the African countries experienced the El Niño weather phenomenon which caused the worst drought in 100 years.

“You (African countries) need a mix that allows you to mitigate those types of issues,” said George Njenga, General Electrique’s executive manager for sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Ecofin Agency

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