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Key energy sources

Lesotho’s total energy supply in 2010 came from coal (28 per cent), petroleum (16 per cent), renewables and waste (wood, crop waste and dung, 52 per cent) and electricity (4 per cent). All hard coal and petroleum and about half of all electricity is imported.According to studies, Lesotho’s hydropower potential is 450 megawatts (MW). Currently, only 17 per cent of it is being utilized. The Muela Hydropower Station is the largest plant in the country with a capacity of 72 MW.2 As of 2011, 44 per cent of urban households had access to the national grid, while in rural areas only 6 per cent had access.3 Households, especially rural, are heavily dependent upon biomass for energy. Woodfuel is the most common source of energy for cooking (70 per cent) and heating (72 per cent) in rural areas.4 The country’s Vision 2020 energy target is to provide at least 35 per cent of the population with electricity – up from the current 22 per cent. The government sees renewable energy as a means to increase access to rural areas. Lesotho has favourable conditions for hydro-, wind and solar power. From 2008 to 2012 the UNEP/GEF-supported Renewable Energy-based Rural Electrification Project (LREBRE) installed over 5,000 solar home systems throughout the country.5 Lesotho’s first wind farm will soon be developed. The wind farm, set in the Maluti-Drakensberg region, will have 42 turbines capable of generating 25-35MW.

Lesotho's total energy supply


Lesotho's total energy supply Download


[1] Bureau of Statistics (2013). 2009-2011 Energy Balance Report. Bureau of Statistics, Maseru.
[2] UNEP Risø (2013). Emission reduction profile – Lesotho. UNEP Risø
[3] Reegle (2014). Energy profile Lesotho. Online. Available from: http://www.reegle.info/countries/lesotho
[4] Bureau of Statistics (2012). Environment and energy statistics report. Bureau of Statistics, Maseru.
[5] UNDP, gef and Ministry of Natural Resources (2012). Lesotho Renewable Energy-Based Rural Electrification Project. Online. Available from: http://www.ls.undp.org/content/dam/lesotho/docs/Reports/