When the Muela hydro plant came online in 1999, it generated more electricity than was consumed in Lesotho. Since then, consumption has grown at a rate of 4% a year: more households are getting connected to the grid and companies are developing their activities. Kerosene lamps are being replaced by electric lights.
This requires Lesotho to import coal generated electricity from South Africa and gas generated electricity from Mozambique. As a result, almost half of the domestic consumption is now imported from neighbouring countries. At the same time, South Africa struggles to keep its old coal power plants running and has a hard time to meet its own domestic demand. That’s why extra power generation is very welcome.
Wind and solar energy
With an electricity consumption of 920 GWh and a domestic generation of 516 GWh, Lesotho imported 404 GWh in 2018. Wind and solar can turn around the power flow between Lesotho and its neighbouring countries.