Energy Security in Mozambique

By Hélder Chambal on August 16, 2010

Mozambique is endowed with considerable hydropower potential and is rich in modern energy resources. However, more than 80 per cent of the country's population is not connected to the national grid because of inadequate infrastructure, a lack of investment, and the huge cost of installing an energy grid, among others.

This study explores the energy-security dynamics affecting the country: energy availability, accessibility and efficiency for the electricity subsector.

Key Findings:

  • Mozambique has substantial energy resources, ranging from fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) to renewables (solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and tidal sources of power). However, the exploitation of these resources for national use is limited because they are distributed unevenly around the country, and access remains extremely low.

  • The government is facing three primary challenges, namely: increasing access to electricity, while at the same time mitigating adverse environmental, livelihood and health impacts of traditional biofuels; increasing the production and use of electricity; and promoting and prudently managing export-oriented energy projects.

  • Tariffs and the fiscal regime of the country are crucial to determine the real cost of electricity and relevant to provide benefits for rural electrification and renewable energy exploitation.

  • Mozambique has the second-largest generating capacity in the region after South Africa but the latter accounts for more than 82 per cent of generating capacity and over 85 per cent of peak demand, which encourages Eskom to buy Mozambican power at very low rates.

Key Recommendations:

  • It is important that the government actively encourages private sector investment in renewable energy projects in Mozambique and creates clear incentives for investors, manufacturers and developers to utilize and promote renewable energies when making investments in the country.

  • Renewable energy support should not be targeted exclusively at off-grid initiatives and poverty alleviation, but should also be encouraged in economically active sectors, including tourism, telecommunications and commercial enterprises, as well as among middle-class households.

Report details

IISD, 2010