New regulations strengthen Mozambique's off-grid energy sector
Following the approval and public announcement by the Government of Mozambique in December 2022 of new off-grid energy regulations, a package of technical rules and legal instruments has recently been published. This package further complements the Off-Grid Areas Access to Energy Regulation.
The government has so far published several comprehensive legal instruments, including the Mini-grid Concession Regulation, Ministerial Diploma on Model and Off-Grid Energy Services Registration Certification, Mini-grid Tariff Regulation, Energy Supply Activity Tariff Standardisation Regulation, Interconnection Regulation (which establishes the procedures, terms, and conditions applicable to the interconnection of a mini-grid to the national electricity grid, required in cases of extension to the mini-grid concession area), Service Quality and Commercial Relations Regulation (which sets forth off-grid service terms and conditions), and Technical and Safety Standards Regulation (which defines and standardises technical and safety standards applicable to equipment and electrical installations of mini-grids and autonomous systems used in the off-grid areas' energy access provision).
Approval and dissemination of these legal instruments will allow Mozambique to write a new phase in the country's history of access to energy in off-grid areas thanks to the farsighted work of the energy sector Government authorities and BRILHO programme (funded by the UK and Swedish governments, and implemented by SNV).
António Osvaldo Saíde, the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), stated that the regulations would allow a major change in the off-grid energy sector dynamics.
'The approval of the General Regulation on Access to Off-Grid Power requires the development of specific rules and regulations to engage operators in the energy sector, and with these instruments, both the Government and private sector are in a position to deploy mini-grids in a standardised and consistent manner.'
Mette Sunnergren, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in Mozambique, highlighted that supporting Mozambique in achieving energy access for all by 2030 is one of the main goals of the Government of Sweden: 'The regulatory framework will allow leveraging private investment, which is key towards achieving the goals set by the national electricity strategy.'
Sérgio Dista, Private Sector Development Advisor at the British High Commission in Maputo, highlighted that: 'The British Government is committed to supporting Mozambique in its journey towards energy transition and climate resilience. With the approval of these rules and regulations and the expansion of off-grid markets, more Mozambicans will have access to cleaner and more affordable energy.'
For the private sector, approving these legal instruments provides more security and incentive to invest in mini-grids and the off-grid energy sector.
Javier Ayala, BRILHO Programme Manager and SNV Energy Sector Leader in Mozambique, highlighted that one of the BRILHO mandates is to support the Government of Mozambique in developing strategy, policy and enabling environment for the energy market solutions for off-grid areas. He further added that:
'This represents a major achievement for the off-grid sector in Mozambique. The legal framework is in place for solar and mini-grid electrification business initiatives and clean cooking solutions to accelerate and scale up investment and operations across the country. These clean energy solutions will benefit households and businesses in off-grid areas with greener, more inclusive and sustainable economic development.'
BRILHO, funded by the UK and Sweden, and implemented by SNV, a global development partner, is grateful for the trust in the partnership with the Government of Mozambique and for having been an integral part of the whole process, from inception to completion. The programme will work with the Government of Mozambique and the private sector to develop an enabling environment for off-grid areas' energy access.