Lesotho electricity demand profile from 2010 to 2030


  • M. Mpholo Energy Research Centre, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho; 2. Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0358-1640
  • M. Mothala Energy Research Centre, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho; 2. Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  • L. Mohasoa Energy Research Centre, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho; 3. Lesotho Electricity Company, Maseru, Lesotho
  • D. Eager 4. Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables (Europe), Edinburgh, UK
  • R. Thamae Energy Research Centre and Department of Economics, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho;
  • T. Molapo Energy Research Centre, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho
  • T. Jardine 6. Energy Market and Regulatory Consultants, Edinburgh, UK




MAED; energy demand forecast; electrification rate; declining average household consumption


This study undertook a 2010 to 2030 electricity demand profile for Lesotho, with 2010 used as the base year. The demand forecast was modelled using the International Atomic Energy Agency Model for Analysis of Energy Demand, largely because of its proven ability to accurately forecast demand in developing economies based on socio-economic, technology and demography variables. The model correlates well with the actual data, where data exists, and predicts that by 2030 Lesotho will achieve a national electrification rate of 54.2%, with 95% for urban households and 14% for rural households, up from 19.4%, 54.1% and 1.8% respectively in the base year. Moreover, in the same period, the forecast for the most likely scenario gives the following results: the maximum demand will increase to 211 MW from 121 MW; the annual average household energy consumption will continue its decline to 1 009 kWh/household from 1 998 kWh/household; and the total consumption will increase to 1 128 284 MWh from 614 868 MWh. The overall low growth rate is attributed to the consistently declining average household consumption that is contrary to international norms. The forecast results gave a root mean square percentage error of 1.5% and mean absolute percentage error of 1.3%, which implied good correlation with the actual data and, hence, confidence in the accuracy of the results.


Between 2030 and 2010:

  • Achievement of national electrification rate of 54.2% up from 19.4%.
  • Electrification: 95% urban, 14% rural households, from 54.1% and 1.8% respectively.
  • The maximum demand will increase to 211 MW from 121 MW.
  • Annual average household consumption will decline to 1 009 kWh/household from 1,998 kWh/household


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How to Cite

Mpholo, M., Mothala, M., Mohasoa, L., Eager, D., Thamae, R., Molapo, T., & Jardine, T. (2021). Lesotho electricity demand profile from 2010 to 2030. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 32(1), 41–57. https://doi.org/10.17159/2413-3051/2021/v32i1a7792