West Africa plans electricity interconnection says coastweek. Five West African countries are planning a 330 kV electricity interconnection project to reduce electricity shortages in the region. The countries are Benin, Berkino Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Electricity shortages are slowing down industrial development in these countries.

Global Energy Watch says that Mozambique has launched a $2 billion electricity project.  The investment will connect the southern capital Maputo to a major hydro-electric dam 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) to the north. This will send 3.1 GW of electricity from the Cahora Bassa Dam to Maputo.  The World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Norway and the French Development Agency will carry out the bulk of construction, which will start in 2014 and last three years. Only 18% of Mozambique’s 23 million people have access to electricity. The project will contribute to a regional power pool that aims to address energy shortfalls across southern Africa. It will also help lessen the region’s reliance on coal-fired power plants and thereby reduce C02 emissions.

From REVE we learn that Ethiopia launches six wind power and one geothermal energy projects. These are part of Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation’s plan to increase Ethiopia’s electric power generation capacity to 10 GW from the current 2 GW capability.

Kenya has entered into agreements with a Japanese-Korean consortium to build 280MW of geothermal electricity capacity reports RECHARGE. The project, Kenya’s largest geothermal initiative yet, will build a new 140 MW Olkaria 4 plant at the site, 100km from Nairobi, and expand the existing Olkaria 1 facility by the same amount from its current 45 MW. The new Olkaria capacity is due to begin operation in April 2014. Kenya is estimated to have total geothermal potential of  7 GW. Its government hopes to meet about 30% of its power needs from the renewable source by 2031.

IPPmedia tells us that 600 people in the Tansanian district of Ludewa now have electric power. The villagers have been connected in a 150 kW electricity project installed by the Association of Rural Cooperation in Africa and Latin America (ACRA) at Lumama villages. Rural electrification programs are regarded as the most important factor in social and economic development and poverty reduction in rural areas of the globe.. The emergence of electricity is also expected to reduce the movement of people from rural to urban areas.

Botswana plans to add 1.2 GW of electricity to its national grid in the next six years to address energy shortages says Reuters. In addition to a 600 MW power station to be commissioned in 2012, two other 300 MW power stations are to be built by 2017/18. Presently, Botswana has only one power station, Morupule A plant, which produces 120 MW, with the remainder of its power needs, about 80%, being imported mainly from South Africa. In anticipation of the higher demand for coal from the coal-fired power plants, plans are under way to increase production at the country’s only coal mine, Morupule Colliery, from 1.2 million tones per annum to 2.8 million tonnes.

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