The Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) has warned that it could roll out power cuts owing to low power generating capacity at 'Muela Hydro Power Station.
This the company said in a recent statement.
The utility has further cautioned that it will be forced to implement power blackouts if the rate of power consumption is not curtailed.
'The public is invited to note that pursuant to our previous public notice on the state of 'Muela Hydro Power Station, we regret to inform you that the situation has further deteriorated due to the loss of the second generating unit.
This means that the current generating capacity of 'Muela is at 33%. There is a significant risk of failure of this last remaining unit,' reads their statement in the pertinent part.
The utility has further indicated that it is now 'forced' to import power 'at a significantly higher rate' than it would with 'Muela.
It continues: 'We are therefore urging and appealing to the public to voluntarily reduce their power consumption failing which LEC will have no option but to introduce rolling blackouts (load-shedding) in order to stabilize the network and ensure the sustainability of the Lesotho economy'.
Lesotho experienced load-shedding in 2008 before importing more electricity from Mozambique.
For 2022/2023 LEC has lodged an application for 12.32 percent tariffs hikes, in its motivation, the utility said it is planning to raise over M1,4 billion.
The country's power generation capacity is 72 megawatts and to top of this, LEC imports electricity from Eskom which is overburdened, and also the Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM).
To address the energy challenges, the country has resorted to solar energy, and to this effect, the government has constructed the solar power plant at Ha-Ramarothole, Mafeteng that is currently under construction.
When complete, it will contribute 30 megawatts to the national grid and the second phase is envisaged to generate 40 megawatts.
There seems to be an increasing energy crisis and to avert, countries are exploring the generation of clean energy which is said to be environmentally friendly.
Meanwhile, if the utility rolls out a power outage, which is likely to have an effect on the economy as businesses need uninterrupted power for maximum production of goods and services.
It is reported that in South Africa the economy is feeling the pinch due to the switching of the lights by the heavily burdened Eskom.