Eswatini needs E120m yearly for full access to electricity by 2030
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).
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)