Over the last decade national GDP has increased by a factor of eight, one of Africa’s strongest performances, although the country is still among the poorest of the world. To attract further large investment projects in natural resources and to keep high growth rates, reforms to stabilize the economy were introduced by the government.
Mozambique has a technically feasible hydropower potential of about 37,647 GWh/year, equivalent to around 6,600 MW of installed capacity. Some 92% of the country’s current electricity demand is covered by hydropower. Access to electricity has tripled over the last decade, with up to 40% of the population having mains supply, and electricity demand is expected to increase by 8–10% within the next decade.
With a capacity of about 2,185 MW, only a third of the hydro potential has been developed so far but more than 4,000 MW are in the feasibility study phase. There are plans to build more than 3,400 MW of new hydropower facilities, most of them in the Zambezi River valley. HPP Mphanda Nkuwa with 1,500 MW and the 1,245 MW extension of the Cahora Bassa hydropower station are among these projects.
Small hydro is also an interesting solution for the supply of the mostly small-scale farming economy in Mozambique with affordable and reliable power. About 3,000 MW of additional small hydropower plants could be developed throughout the country.