SA looks to Botswana for energy solutions

Botswana wants South Africa to buy even more electricity from it after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared his plan to import electricity from neighbouring nations to supplement South Africa’s limited power supply.

Given that electricity cannot be stored on any significant scale and that fluctuations can tax generators, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) wants Eskom to purchase its off-peak generated power.

“BPC has therefore started engaging Eskom to purchase the excess electricity supply generated during off-peak times (weekends) to protect our plants against load management fluctuations and ensure that surplus electricity has a secured market,” BPC said in a statement.

On Monday night, Ramaphosa said: “Neighbouring countries in southern Africa, such as Botswana and Zambia, have more electricity capacity than they require for their economies. Eskom will now import power from these countries through the southern African power pool arrangement.”

Responding to Ramaphosa’s measures, BPC said it was “alive to the announcement made by the Republic of South Africa president…that Eskom will import power from Botswana”.

Through the Maduo26 strategy, a five-year plan launched last year, Botswana intends to achieve its vision of becoming “a regional benchmark in electricity supply” by 2026.

So far, BPC said, it has been meeting local energy needs during off-peak hours. It is, therefore “able to export excess power to the region”.