Renewable Energy Potential

The Government of Mozambique and FUNAE conducted a study on solar, hydro, biomass, wind, geothermal, and maritime resources in the country between 2011 and 2013. This led to the publication of the Renewable Energy Atlas of Mozambique, currently the key reference document for technical potentials of renewable energy in the country. The Atlas (website not functioning at the time of writing) may be accessed at: http://www.atlasrenovaveis.co.mz/en

 

Physical Potential

Mozambique has a total renewable potential of ~23,000 GW. Solar potential is the most abundant resource at 23,000 GW, followed by hydro (19 GW), wind (5 GW), biomass (2 GW), and geothermal (0.1 GW). Of this total resource, approximately 7.5 GW of priority projects have been identified in the Atlas, comprising 5.6 GW of hydro, 1.1 GW of Wind, 0.6 GW of solar, 0.13 GW of biomass, and 20 MW of geothermal.

 

Solar Potential

Mozambique has significant and virtually unexploited solar potential. Global horizontal irradiation varies between 1,785 and 2,206 kWh/m2/year. In total, Mozambique has a potential of more than 2.7 GW that could be easily developed. This potential offers many possibilities for grid-connected and rural electrification projects. The Renewable Energy Atlas identified 189 locations for grid-connected power plants, close to existing substations, with a total capacity of 599 MW. The provinces of Maputo and Tete have the highest potential for grid-connected solar projects, essentially due to the favourable grid infrastructure.  There is approximately 1.3 MW of solar PV-based mini-grids installed in Niassa funded by the Government of South Korea, approximately 200 kW (50x 4 kW each) of solar PV-based mini-grids funded through the Portuguese Carbon Fund, and a handful of multi- and bi-lateral programmes (e.g. World Bank, Belgian Development Agency (BTC), UNIDO, Energising Development) focused on the installation of SHS on rural institutions, micro-enterprises, and households. Current installed capacity in the country is estimated to be 2.2 MW.

Since the rural population is highly dispersed, the majority of these projects are off-grid, stand-alone systems and decentralised mini-grids. When selecting locations for PV systems, priority is given to government institutions including schools, hospitals, and government administrative functions. In the absence of an incentive system, active commercial markets have not yet developed and there is relatively little private participation. A factor for that may also be that consumers may prefer to wait for arrival of FUNAE funded projects compared to private projects, given their cost disadvantage.

The Government’s renewable strategy also includes targets for the installation of 100,000 solar water heaters and 5,000 solar refrigerators up to 2025.

Wind Potential

Measurements of wind power potential are conducted throughout the country. Mozambique has limited wind resources. Average wind speeds reach over 7 m/s in Maputo and Gaza. The Renewable Energy Atlas identified a total wind potential of 4.5 GW, of which 1,100 MW may have potential for grid connection. Out of these, about 230 MW are considered high potential.

 

Wind-Moz
Source: ATLAS – Renewable Energy of Mozambique

 

Hydro Potential

Mozambique is one of Africa’s largest hydroelectricity producers. Its hydropower generation potential is estimated at roughly 19,000 MW, of which only 2,100 MW have so far been exploited. Two large scale projects are planned for the short to medium term: the expansion of the Cahora Bassa Dam (1,245 MW) and the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam (1,500 MW).

The Renewable Energy Atlas identified a total of 1,446 potential hydro projects with an accumulated potential of 19 GW. 351 priority projects totalling 5.6 GW were identified, the majority being in Tete, Manica, Niassa, Zambezia and Nampula provinces. According to the Atlas, about 100 sites could be developed in the near term.

 

Bioenergy Potential

According to the Renewable Energy Atlas, Mozambique has potential to generate over 2 GW of electricity from biomass. Of this, a 128 MW pipeline of priority biomass projects would be viable for development in the short term. The following sectors and market segments offer potential for biogas or biomass technologies:

 

  • Forestry: residues from conventional logging or dedicated plantations (1,006 MW)
  • Industry and agriculture: agro-industrial waste from farms, wood and plant waste from manufacturing industries (N/A)
  • Pulp industry: “black liquor” from wood-firing processes for use in cogeneration plants (280 MW)
  • Sugar industry: residual bagasse from the sugarcane crushing process for use in cogeneration plants; sugar cane foliage (831 MW)
  • Municipal solid waste: incineration or deposition in landfills for the production of biogas (63 MW)
  • Other: small and medium-sized livestock holdings, vegetable oils extracted for coconut or jatropha

 

The following map provides an overview of potential biomass Projects:

 

Biomass-MOZ
Source: ATLAS – Renewable Energy of Mozambique