Despite being one of Africa’s smallest countries, Eswatini has an impressive, diverse topography and climate. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its electricity infrastructure.
The vast majority of Eswatini’s power supplies are imported from South Africa, which inhibits the country’s potential to be economically independent and is less cost-effective overall. Plus, although Eswatini’s electrification rates are relatively high, they are still a long way off 100% (the country’s target for 2022).
So, Eswatini looks towards renewable energy to help meet its electrification goals and save costs down the line — and solar is the most viable solution.
The country has committed to the SE4ALL initiative, working to increase renewable energy generation to 50% by 2030, and developed the Eswatini Energy Master Plan, supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which aims to provide a clear route to the country’s renewable energy goals by 2034.
In hopes of reaching these ambitious goals, Eswatini has made solar panels and batteries exempt from import duties to help with this. But the biggest driver of growth in Eswatini’s PV market comes from private PV projects.
In 2022, Eswatini partnered with Frazium Energy to commission a new 100MW solar storage project with 75,000 PV panels — hoping to produce more than 100 million kWh of electricity a year and generate at least 200 jobs.
The Africa Minigrids Program (AMP) was also launched nearing the end of 2022 to provide clean, affordable energy to the population of Eswatini.
Since these developments were launched, plans for a 15MW PV project in Hhohho have come to fruition — with construction planned for 2023 and commercial operation on the cards for 2024. This project, which is ground-mounted, is overseen Globeleq Africa Ltd — a leading African independent power producer.
SegenSolar is keen to foster the development of additional small and large-scale PV installations across Eswatini. If you are a homeowner, you can get in touch for more details about our work. If you are an installer, you can explore our range on the portal — just log in or sign up for a free account.