29 February 2008 – US$46 billion will be spent by the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) in order to reverse the current power deficit. Speaking in Lusaka, acting SADC secretariat chief director Remmy Makumbe said there was a need for more power projects in the region.
Between 2008 and 2025, it is possible to add 50 450MW of generation capacity with projects involving, amongst others, rehabilitation and short term generation projects, Makumbe said. These projects are estimated to cost in the region of US$4.9 billion.
At the same time, SAPP will carry out long term generation and interconnection projects with a total cost of US$41.5 billion.
"It is notable that as early as 1999, SAPP had predicted that the SADC region will experience inadequate power supply, and though the members made necessary provisions for such projects to address the projected shortfalls, these were not approved in time or took long to be implemented" Makumbe said.
The region has now adopted a road map involving Demand Side Management (DSM) initiatives as the only "immediate option to optimise the use of available power." The key focus of the DSM programme would be to develop and implement a power conservation programme, based on experiences from California and Brazil.
Additionally, the programme would include the implementation of renewable energy technologies.