The Unites States Government has worked closely with the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland to assist them in producing the National Electricity Grid Code, a document that establishes the rules and procedures for the users of Swaziland’s power system. The Grid Code will encourage clean energy expansion, facilitate competition, and promote the security, reliability, and efficiency of Swaziland’s power system.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Trade Hub worked closely with the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA) to enable the Grid Code’s completion. In a ceremony at SERA headquarters on January 21 attended by US Ambassador to Swaziland Makila James and the Honorable Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Jabulile Mashwama, SERA officially launched the Grid Code, solidifying its role as a dependable and efficient energy regulatory agency.
USAID is working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy to enhance the regulation of the country’s clean energy sector, a critical step as Swaziland faces an increasing power deficit. Only about 20% of Swaziland’s maximum energy demand is met through in-country hydro and biomass co-generation, while the remaining 80% of power is currently imported. Swaziland has abundant renewable energy potential including hydro, biomass, solar and wind power. In order to unlock this potential, the country requires a transparent and predictable clean energy regulatory regime to encourage the entry of independent power producers into the sector. According to SERA’s CEO Vusumuzi Mkhumane, the Grid Code “will shorten Power Purchase Agreement registration and simplify the Independent Power Producers’ application process as well as level the playing field in the energy sector of the country… [an] exercise that is long overdue in Swaziland.”
An increase in clean electricity generation will contribute to increased electricity generation, climate change mitigation, economic growth, trade competitiveness, poverty reduction, and food security in Swaziland. The goal of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is to increase international competitiveness, intraregional trade and food security in the Southern Africa region. Based in Gaborone, Botswana, the Southern Africa Trade Hub delivers targeted technical assistance to governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to advance regional integration and increase trade capacity in selected value chains in Southern Africa. The Southern Africa Trade Hub is working with Swaziland to improve the investment climate, facilitate customs modernization, and promote renewable energy.