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Lesotho

Governmental Framework

The Ministry of Natural Resources through the Department of Energy is responsible for the overall administration and coordination of energy in Lesotho. Other relevant institutions and entities responding to the Department of Energy include the Petroleum Fund (PF), Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), Lesotho Electricity Authority (LEA), Appropriate Technology Services (ATS), Lesotho Electrification Unit (LEU), National Rural Electrification Fund (NREF) to be established and Lesotho Electricity Generation Authority (LEGA). However, the Energy Policy 2015-2025 does not mention the Ministry of Natural Resources and refers instead to the Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs. This could mean that there has been a change in the names of the Ministries in the recent times.

 

Institutional overview Energy Sector in Lesotho

 

Department of Energy

 

Policy, Plans, Strategy, Programs formulation, enforcement and information Dissemination.

 

Petroleum Fund

 

Funding viable energy projects and research and development in the petroleum sector

 

Lesotho Electricity Authority

 

Electricity Sector Regulation

 

Lesotho Electricity Generation

Authority

 

Development and management of electricity generation projects to supply Lesotho and the region with electricity

 

Lesotho Electricity Company

 

Electricity transmission, distribution and supply in urban and financially viable areas of the country.

 

Lesotho Electrification Unit

 

 

Build operate and Transfer of electricity Transmission, distribution and supply network and management of NREF

 

National Rural electrification

Fund

 

Rural electrification –NREF is still at concept Level.

 

Appropriate Technology

Services

Technology development

 

Source: Rapid Assessment and Gap Analysis for Lesotho Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All)

 

Governmental Institutions and Major Stakeholders

Ministry of Natural Resources or Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs

The Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs of Lesotho is responsible for providing the overall vision and political direction of the energy sector. The Department of Energy acts as the technical arm of the Government on energy matters that include policy and strategy formulation and coordination of energy sector activities.

Lesotho Electricity Authority (LEA)

From August, 2004 until April, 2013 the Authority was mandated with regulating the electricity sector. In 2007 the Government decided that the Lesotho Electricity Water Authority (LEWA) should be transformed to be a multi-sector regulatory body assuming additional powers to regulate urban water and sewerage services in the country. LEWA officially started regulating both electricity and urban water and sewerage services sector on May, 2013. The Authority independently deals with matters such as electricity pricing, complaints handling and resolution and the supervision of the implementation of the Quality of Service and Supply standards (QOSSS) by its licensees.

There are other Ministries or agencies with overarching influence over the energy sector: Ministry of Development Planning; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Mining; Ministry of Public Works and Transport; Water Commission; and Lesotho Revenue Authority.

Public Entities

Lesotho Electricity Corporation (LEC)

Lesotho Electricity Corporation (LEC) generates, transmits, and distributes electricity. The company also owns and operates hydro power stations. LEC is wholly owned by the Government of Lesotho (GoL).

Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO)

The Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO) is a parastatal of the Government of Lesotho. The primary responsibility of the Corporation is the establishment and development of Basotho-owned enterprises. The main focus of BEDCO has been on entrepreneurial capacity building to promote the development of entrepreneurship in Lesotho. BEDCO has formal working relationships with both local and international business support stakeholders.

Appropriate Technology Section

The Appropriate Technology Section (ATS) of the Ministry of Communication Science and Technology, an institution that was mandated to undertake appropriate technology research, the development and application of these technologies, and the dissemination of economically viable results thereof.

Independent Power Producers

Lesotho Highlands Power Project

In November 2011, Lesotho revealed plans for the Lesotho Highlands Power Project, under which a 10 gW renewable energy power-plant will be built. Unnamed Chinese firms will provide loans to finance about 80% of the project which is expected to cost 110 billion ZAR. Equity for the project will come from Breeze Power, a joint venture between the Lesotho government and South Africa’s Harrison and White Investments. Of the 10 gW of power, 6 gW will come from wind energy, and 4 gW will come from pumped-storage hydro power. Construction on the first phase of the project is slated to begin in 2012 with the construction of a 150 mW wind farm. By 2016, 600 mW of the wind capacity is planned to be online. As part of this project, manufacturing facilities will be built in Lesotho and South Africa.

PowerNET Developments (Pty) Ltd

The project involves the development of 42-turbine Letseng wind farm and has been approved by the Lesotho government. Lesotho’s first 25-35MW wind facility will be located near the diamond mine of Letseng La Terai in the highlands of Lesotho. PowerNET Developments (Pty) Ltd is a joint venture between South African energy consultancy NETGroup and Lesotho’s Powerdev Group.

Private sector associations and civil society organisations

The Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (LCN)

The Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (LCN) is an umbrella organization for NGOs in Lesotho. It was established in May 1990 with an objective of providing supportive services to the NGO Community. The Council implements this through networking and leadership training and development, information dissemination, capacity building, coordination, advocacy and representation when dealing with the government and the international community.

Lesotho Association of Engineers

Among other goals the LAE seeks to foster and promote the art and science of Engineering and its application in Lesotho and to facilitate the exchange of information. For that matter, they will cooperate with educational institutions and public educational authorities for the furtherance of education and training in Engineering Science and Practice.

Lesotho Solar Energy Society

Lesotho Solar Energy Society (LeSES) acts as a platform for the industry and clean energy expert groups to exchange information and implementation of an industry code of practice.

Regulatory Framework – Acts, Policies and Regulations

National Strategic Development Plan 2012/13–2016/17

The NSDP is a strategy that aims to contribute the broader National Vision 2020. The document makes explicit the potential for energy generation based on renewable sources provided that financial resources are available. The energy sector is regarded as a source of economic growth; climate change mitigation; and eventually export revenues. For that the strategy articulates three goals:

  1. Increase clean energy production capacity to attain self-sufficiency, export and have a greener economy.
  2. Expand electricity access to centres of economic activity, other sectors and households.
  3. Increase energy conservation, safety and access to alternative (non-electricity) energy products and efficient Technologies.

Lesotho Energy Policy 2015-2025

The policy document aims to achieve the goals articulated in the NSDP. The policies pivot around principles such as sectoral integration, stakeholder participation, environmental sustainability, gender equity or public private partnerships. The Energy Policy establishes 15 sub-policies which can be grouped in the following themes and is further disaggregated in general strategies, but no specific activities and monitoring indicators are set:

  • Institutional and regulatory framework and improvement information systems.
  • Establish and sustain a platform for energy stakeholder coordination
  • Develop standards, codes of practice and specifications for mini and off-grid solutions.
  • Impose and collect levies on energy services and products
  • Develop a database of local institutions and resources currently available to undertake energy-related research and analysis, and thereafter, assess skills and expertise thereof.
  • Establish a support programme for the co-financing of energy research activities.
  • Create an enabling environment that encourages investment in the energy sector. This may include facilitating the establishment of international/local and/or public/private partnership and Renewable Energy Feed-In-Tariffs (REFIT) programme.
  • Promotion of bioenergy resources and renewable energy technologies and services.
  • Promote research and development in the field of bioenergy and associated technologies for power generation, heat and fuel production
  • Facilitate the establishment of Rural Energy Service Companies (RESCOs)
  • Enhancing efficiency of electricity equipment and upgrading and expansion of facilities for power generation, power transmission and distribution.
  • Support applied research and development in energy efficiency programmes and activities
  • Develop power purchase agreement (PPA) framework that will allow the private sector and cooperative associations to participate as Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in mini or micro hydro, wind, solar and biomass power generation
  • Create a conducive environment for local entrepreneur participation in the electricity sector
  • Introduce a wholesale tariff regulation that supports increased participation of private sector and cooperative associations in bulk purchasing and retailing of electricity
  • Increase market efficiency, ensuring fair and transparent pricing and promoting private investments with attractive business environment.
  • Develop legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks to ensure security of energy supply and increased number of players in the electricity supply industry
  • Ensuring the access and security of electricity and petroleum products.
  • Establish price setting mechanisms for recovering the cost of Service

Authority (Universal Access Fund) 2011

The purpose of this facility is to channel funds towards the development and expansion of electricity service infrastructure. Furthermore, funding training programmes for communities and research to promote the access to electricity in sidelined areas.

Key figures

Available statistics:
Official name
Kingdom of Lesotho
Capital
Maseru
Population (million, 2015, est.)
2,135
Population growth, in % (2015)
0.3%
Rural population, % of total (2015)
73%
Median age of population, in years (2016, est.)
24 years
National currency
Loti (LSL)
Location
Southern Africa
Official languages
Official: Sesotho and English. Others: Zulu, Xhosa
Compound Annual (GDP) Growth Rate (2015)
1.6%
GDP per Capita, current USD (2015)
1,440.162
Inflation rate in % (consumer prices, 2015)
3.2%
Ease-of-doing business Index (2017)
100
Ease of starting a business index (2017)
117
Installed generating capacity (MW, 2016)
75
Installed fossil fuel capacity (MW, 2015)
0
Hydro capacity (MW, 2015)
74.8
Other RE capacity (MW, 2015)
0.2 (solar)
IPP generation (MW)
0
Shares of RE generating capacity (%, 2015)
0,26% (excluding hydro)
Total domestic production (GWh, 2010)
507.3
Production from RE sources (GWh, 2010)
507.3
RE electricity output in % of total electricity production (incl. hydroelectric, 2015)
100%
Average distribution and transmission losses in % of output
n/a
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