Electricity generation: a driver of SADC regional integration?

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Mutanga, T.Simelane
KEYWORDS: ELECTRICITY SERVICE DELIVERY, SADC REGION
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9080

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Abstract

The 2014 SADC heads of state summit in Harare adopted industrialisation policy as a means of strengthening regional integration. Greater regional co-operation is also emerging as a means towards diversifying SADC economies and boosting international partnerships. Access to energy, however, remains a challenge for most SADC countries. Although industrialisation demands an adequate energy supply, heavy reliance on fossil fuels has encountered widespread opposition - prompted by climate change concerns - driving the need for sustainable energy solutions. This paper advocates strengthening regional power pools to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in resource utilisation. A power pool can promote energy security and increase service reliability through shared, interconnected electricity systems. It may also help promote larger regional markets as a basis for future economic growth. The paper maps SADC - electricity access, role players, energy technologies and technological investment within the bounds of its industrial policy; and suggests ways in which the electricity generation industry might support efforts toward regional integration.