In a bid to meet its renewable energy needs in the regional grid of at least 32 percent by 2020 and 35 percent by 2030, SADC aims to commission new power projects that will add 3 059 megawatts of electricity this year.
Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), which Botswana is a member of, coordinates the planning, generation and transmission of electricity on behalf of member state utilities. Since the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is not yet fully integrated in terms of energy trading, the new energy generation projects planned for commissioning this year will add 3059 MW to the regional grid. The majority of the new power this year is expected to come from South Africa.
All mainland SADC countries, with the exception of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania, are interconnected through SAPP regional grid, allowing them to share surplus energy.
However, new generation capacity installed in any of the three non-participating countries is not accessible to Botswana and eight other members of SAPP ÔÇô DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. At least three power generation projects with a combined output of 1 624MW will be commissioned in South Africa, Zambia is due to add 300MW and Angola will add 780MW.
Unlike in the former years where coal-fired plants contributed the largest share of new generation capacity, 2016 will witness only two new coal projects coming on board with a combined capacity of 390MW.
Gas is expected to contribute the largest share of the new generation capacity in the region in 2016 ÔÇô expected to add 1 410 MW by the end of the year. Southern African countries made a resolution in 2012 to increase the uptake of cleaner and alternative energy sources that result in reduced carbon emission.