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Renewable Energy Potential Maps for LESOTHO

TitleRenewable Energy Potential Maps for LESOTHO
Publication TypeAtti di Congresso
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsD'Isidoro, Massimo, Vitali Lina, Pasanisi F., Righini Gaia, Mahahabisa Mabafokeng, Letuma Mosuoe, Raliselo Muso, and Seitlheko Mokhethi
Conference Name6th AIEE Energy Symposium Current and Future Challenges to Energy Security
Date Published12/2021
PublisherAssociazione Italiana Economisti dell‘Energia (
Conference Locationweb conference

The Kingdom of Lesotho is a landlocked African state entirely surrounded by the Republic of South
Africa with an area of 30,355 km2, mostly covered by natural vegetation and agricultural land, with
built-up areas accounting for 4.1% of the territory, barren lands 5.0%, water bodies and rivers 0.9%,
and wetlands 1.1% (FAO, 2017).
Electricity supply in Lesotho has continuously increased over the last decades from about 200 GWh
per year in 1990 to 900 GWh per year (UN, 2021); this increase of electricity demand in Lesotho is
associated with growing rate of population with access to electricity but its production in Lesotho is
not sufficient to meet the internal demand and the deficit is compensated by imports from South
Africa and Mozambique. The following main opportunities can be recognized about energy sector on
the use of RE sources: an abundance of local RE sources (hydro, solar and wind), still largely
unexploited and a possibility to match the development of the national energy sector with
environmental policies aimed to preserve the environment from degradation and implement climate
change adaptation and mitigation strategies, with access to international cooperation programs. In this
regard, over the last decades a great effort was devoted by Lesotho’s institutions and stakeholders to
electrification projects, funded both with internal resources and from international cooperation
programmes, with a particular attention to rural areas.
Considering the context described above, a project was launched in 2018 in fulfilment of the Paris
Agreement by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and the Lesotho Ministry of Energy and
Meteorology, with the aim to facilitate the local Government in the future planning and development
of renewable energy in the country. A user-oriented WebGIS platform was utilised to share and
analyse the outcomes of the project: a hydrological map to recognize potential areas for power
generation; a wind atlas to identify specific sites with the most potential for wind energy generation; a
solar radiation map, defining the different levels of radiation intensity, useful to localise sites for
photovoltaic production. Human capacity building and technology transfer were also carried out to strengthen the local
expertise and ability to manage and plan renewable energy sources exploitation. 

Citation Key9572