Botswana’s wind and solar electricity, copious biomass wastes, can be used to enhance access to energy services

According to a recent assessment published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Botswana’s wind and solar electricity, as well as copious biomass wastes, can be used to enhance access to energy services.

The assessment, titled Renewables Readiness Assessment: Botswana, stated that short-to-medium-term actions in the areas of policy, regulatory, risk, and investment were required to promote the development of renewable energy in Botswana.

The report was developed in cooperation with Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.

It supports the Botswana National Energy policy recently adopted by the country’s parliament, which aims to source 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030 and 36 per cent by 2036.

At the end of 2020, Botswana had an installed capacity of 6-megawatt power from renewable sources.

Botswana’s total primary energy supply primarily comprises oil products (34.7 per cent), coal (47.7 per cent) as well as (traditional) biofuels and waste (19.1 per cent).

Botswana’s power system is characterised by an unreliable power supply, lack of investment, poor maintenance and high service costs.

The country imports up to 15 per cent of its power from neighbouring South Africa to meet its power demand.

Botswana relies heavily on fossil fuels for its electricity generation, depending on two major coal-fired power plants (Morupule A and B) and several diesel plants.

The report noted that domestic renewable resources could be harnessed to meet rising power demand. It also said well-aligned strategies could be developed for using renewable energy in agriculture, transport, heating, cooling and cooking.

The report also highlighted the need for the operationalisation of the Botswana Energy Regulation Authority to govern all current and future electricity generators.