Electricity security is central to empowering and sustaining economic development in any country or region. This cross-regional report focuses on electricity supply and the extent to which it is traded within Southern Africa and South America, and the resulting state of electricity supply security in these two regions.
As “rapidly developing countries”, it is crucial for South Africa and Brazil to enhance their participation in the emissions reduction effort. Consequently, they need to find options that limit the threat to the environment while ensuring that they provide with the needed energy.
Findings are as follows:
there is great potential to enhance electricity security in both South America and Southern Africa by tapping into vast resources of hydro and non-hydro renewable sources of energy
however, the cost of exploiting alternative sources of energy is determined by the available technologies, while the adoption of new technologies is directly linked to the economies’ innovative and adoptive capacity
moreover, renewables cost more than conventional fuels in all but niche
applications, as well as the many regulatory barriers associated with electricity generation, transmission and distribution
poor understanding of potential gains affects investing in renewable sources of energy
for renewable and climate friendly technologies to take off, government support or incentives are needed
Furthermore, in the case of southern Africa, the document suggests that countries there recognise regional opportunities and share the view that electricity security lies in regional cooperation. In South America, nonetheless, the key question is whether the region’s leaders can escape the short-term considerations, looking to the region to meet their electricity needs.