Africa to interconnect power grids by 2020

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Africa nations have agreed to interconnect their national electricity grids by the end of 2020, officials said on Thursday.

Head of New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Mosad Elmissiry told Xinhua in Nairobi that the continent's four regional power corridors will be the building blocs of the pan Africa power grid.

"When connected it create a continent-wide power market that will enable countries with surplus energy to sell to those with power deficits," Elmissiry said on the sidelines of the National Workshop for the Validation of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

Elmissiry said it will allow for the generation of power from areas where it is economically viable and sell to those areas with power shortages. Africa has the North-South, West, Central and the North power grids.

He said the North-South power corridor which will link South Africa's power grid to Egypt power grid could the first power pool to be linked.

"Connections between Kenya and Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Egypt and Sudan are at advanced stages of being commissioned," he stated.

The NEPAD official said that power interconnection will be done mainly through the bilateral agreements.

"We are optimistic that the continent will be linked, even though the region has 54 states," he said.

The continent currently generates approximately 120,000 MW of power with the South Africa and Egypt as the biggest producers.

He added that the Democratic Republic of Congo's(DRC) Inga Hydro electric power project which has the potential to produce 40, 000 MW of power, is the cheapest source of energy in the continent.

It is currently producing less than 1,000 MW of power but the DRC government is planning to produce 4,500 MW in the next five years.

Elmissiry said that the African Union Heads of states have committed to generate an additional 15,000 MW of power in the next five years. Endi

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