Eswa­tini needs E120m yearly for full ac­cess to elec­tric­ity by 2030

Observer on Saturday - - News -

While Eswa­tini’s ob­jec­tive is to en­sure that all ci­tisens of the coun­try have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity by the year 2022, how­ever, this am­bi­tious tar­get can only be re­alised with high in­vest­ment sup­port from gov­ern­ment to ex­tend the elec­tric­ity grid to non-elec­tri­fied ar­eas.

In re­cent years, gov­ern­ment has col­lab­o­rated with donor fund­ing agen­cies to sup­port im­ple­men­ta­tion of the coun­try’s ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme. The coun­try needs an an­nual in­vest­ment of about E120 mil­lion (US$8.6 mil­lion) for the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme to be able to meet this tar­get, at least by 2030. This is con­tained in the coun­try’s En­ergy Mas­ter­plan that ex­tends to 2034.

Na­tion­wide, 26 per cent of house­holds do not have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity (as of 2017). These house­holds of­ten utilise mul­ti­ple sources of en­ergy such as wood, LPG and paraf­fin for cook­ing, heat­ing and light­ing. Over the plan­ning hori­zon of 2014 to 2034, the con­sump­tion of fu­el­wood de­clines grad­u­ally. Gov­ern­ment at­tempts to ad­dress en­ergy deficits among non-elec­tri­fied house­holds through its suc­cess­ful house­hold elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme.

Ac­cord­ing to the En­ergy Mas­ter­plan, the rate of non-elec­tri­fi­ca­tion starts at 35 per cent in 2014, de­clines to 0 per cent in 2030 and re­mains con­stant at 0 per­cent un­til 2034. In 2014 the na­tional elec­tric­ity ac­cess rate (i.e. the share of house­holds with elec­tric­ity ac­cess) was 65 per cent, with the ur­ban rate be­ing 84 per cent and the ru­ral house­hold rate be­ing 60 per cent. Ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion con­tin­ues to be a pri­or­ity is­sue in Eswa­tini. Ro­bust im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme in re­cent years has since in­creased house­hold elec­tric­ity ac­cess to 74 per cent in 2017.

For this par­tic­u­lar ex­er­cise, mod­el­ling for the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion tar­gets has taken into ac­count the slow in­jec­tion of funds to sup­port the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme. Hence the tar­get for uni­ver­sal ac­cess to elec­tric­ity is pro­jected to be reached later, in 2030 (and 2034 un­der the Low Growth sce­nario).

Pro­vide

To pro­vide an out­look for elec­tric­ity ac­cess un­til 2030, a model able to gen­er­ate pro­jec­tion of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion rates has been de­vel­oped un­der the Ref­er­ence sce­nario as­sump­tions. The model was de­vel­oped us­ing the same eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic as­sump­tions, tak­ing into ac­count vari­ables such as the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme as well as the broad pol­icy com­mit­ments and plans that have been an­nounced around the world to tackle en­vi­ron­men­tal and en­ergy se­cu­rity con­cerns in the era of sus­tain­able en­ergy for all. The model as­sumes that no ad­di­tional poli­cies to ex­pand en­ergy ac­cess, over and above those in place to­day, are en­acted over the pro­jec­tion pe­riod. The model also as­sumes a 1.2 per cent in­crease in pop­u­la­tion.

The model takes into ac­count the re­quired in­vest­ment in lim­ited fund­ing for the ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme, es­ti­mated at about E120 mil­lion (US$8.6 mil­lion) per year. The to­tal num­ber of house­holds was es­ti­mated by di­vid­ing the to­tal pop­u­la­tion by the es­ti­mated av­er­age house­hold size (i. e. per­sons per house­hold). Cur­rently the av­er­age house­hold size is es­ti­mated to be 4.2 per­sons per house­hold. To­gether with the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion rate, the num­ber of elec­tri­fied house­holds was com­puted.

In gen­eral, the cli­matic con­di­tions of Eswa­tini vary from trop­i­cal to near tem­per­ate. Win­ter in the coun­try is gen­er­ally dry and cold, with an av­er­age tem­per­a­ture of around 17 de­grees Cel­sius (62.4 de­grees Fahren­heit). Dur­ing the win­ter time, most house­holds re­quire space heat­ing.

The main source of en­ergy used for this pur­pose is fu­el­wood; thus, larger quan­ti­ties of fu­el­wood are con­sumed dur­ing the win­ter at the house­hold level. Al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy used are LPG, paraf­fin and elec­tric heaters. In com­mer­cial build­ings both air con­di­tion­ers and heaters are used.

Eswa­tini Elec­tric­ity Com­pany (EEC) reports that dur­ing sum­mer months the de­mand for elec­tric­ity is at­trib­uted to an in­crease in the need for house­hold and in­dus­trial cool­ing sys­tems as well as ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems for the su­gar in­dus­try. In­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­erTo­tal ca­pac­ity (MW) In­ter­nal use (MW)

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