Case study: Lesotho

Conference: Hydro Power Africa
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Presenter: L Mokhutsoane
Abstract: Presented by L Mokhutsoane at Hydro Power Africa

Lesotho’s energy balance is dominated by biomass energy resources. However, the country is well endowed with hydropower resources. There are several challenges that have to be addressed in order to reap full benefit of this resource. One of those challenges is high capital investment cost on the projects of this nature.

There are twenty-two (22) sites that have been identified to be suitable for development to small hydropower countrywide. Of those sites, four (4) have been developed to operational from mid 1980’s to early 1980’s. The plants were designed as hybrid system with diesel generator sets. Three (3) of those plants operates on river run-off system. This paper gives an overview of the setbacks that inhibit smother operation of the mini- hydro.

One of the major challenges that were encountered during operation of these plants is siltation. It has been a general practice that these run on diesel for most periods of the year which render them more expensive to run.

Currently, two (2) of these plants are mothbolt as a result of the problems encountered.