POWER AFRICA FACT SHEET
Power Africa has supported the development of electricity generation projects in Lesotho. In addition, various firms have received U.S. Embassy support to move transactions forward. The page below gives an overview of the energy sector in Lesotho and explains Power Africa's involvement in the country.
LESOTHO ENERGY SECTOR OVERVIEW
Population: 2.11 million | GDP (1): $2.74 billion
Lesotho’s energy sector is characterized by a reliance on biomass (wood and dung) and imported coal and petroleum. As of 2016, 38 percent of the population has access to electricity, representing only 4 percent of Lesotho’s energy balance. Lesotho’s main source of electricity is from the Muela hydropower plant that generates about 72 MW. Energy demand, which stands at 145 MW, is satisfied from both domestic generation and through imports from Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) in Mozambique and Eskom in South Africa within the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
The energy sector in Lesotho faces challenges that include: i) low access to modern and clean forms of energy, ii) reliance on imported electricity and fuels (an energy security problem), and iii) dwindling forest reserves. The Government of Lesotho recognizes that these challenges are a barrier to the country’s development and has set targets to expand electricity access to 75 percent and increase the use of renewable energy sources by 200 MW by 2020. The Ministry of Energy and Meteorology aims to ensure guaranteed access of all licenced renewable energy generators (IPPs) of at least 500 kW to the transmission grid at a prescribed fee.
The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), Rural Electrification Unit (REU), Muela Hydropower Station (MHP) of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) and Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) are currently the four entities that are under the regulatory supervision of the Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA).
POWER AFRICA SUCCESS STORIES IN LESOTHO
Switching on ‘Silent Power’ for Clinics and Communities in Remote Lesotho
As part of the U.S. Government's COVID-19 response, Power Africa awarded over $2.6 million in grants to electrify health facilities, allocating funds to nine solar energy companies to provide urgently needed off-grid power to over 250 rural clinics in Lesotho and eight other sub-Saharan African countries, primarily in isolated areas beyond the grid.
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