Development options explored through a multi-sector analysis of the Zambezi River Basin - The report explores the potential of growth-oriented investments in hydropower and irrigation in the basin while fully taking into account water supply and sanitation, flood management, the environment, tourism, and wetlands.
Ample opportunities for sustainable, cooperative investment - The analysis finds that balanced investments can generate 33,000 GWh/year in hydropower, 774,000 hectares of irrigated land, cost-effective flood mitigation and artificial flooding program in the Lower Zambezi Basin.
Immediate benefits from improved cooperation and coordination - A 7% increase in the region’s firm electricity could be generated with coordinated operation across the basin - adding $585 million in value over 30 years - with no major infrastructure investment.
The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) plan for hydropower adequate - To expand generation capacity in the region in line with SAPP would require investments of $10.7 billion over 15 years, and deemed adequate to meet most of the region’s projected demand for electricity and replace other non-renewable sources of energy.
Significant benefits from transboundary cooperation and coordination of future hydropower -Effective coordination of planned hydropower plants could increase the supply of firm electricity in the region by as much as 23%.
Direct impacts of balancing irrigation and hydropower investment - Although implementation of all current national irrigation projects would expand access to irrigated land by 184% it would also reduce the region’s capacity to produce electricity by 21% if no new generation capacity were brought online. If the proposed national irrigation projects were implemented alongside the current SAPP plans to expand generation, the region’s capacity for uninterruptible electricity would fall by about 8%.