A project intended to demonstrate the capability of renewable energy particularly solar power to the students as well as to the wider community in Botswana has been launched in Gakuto village.
Spearheaded by the Green Energy Sustainable Association (GESA) with support of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), the project has been divided into two stages. The first stage, according to BDC entails training and capacitating ten (10) individuals from the village about renewable energy technologies with emphasis in solar energy. The training was done by GESA energy engineers. The second phase, which is the installation of the solar lighting system, is billed to have commenced in June 2019.
GESA is a non-governmental organisation founded by engineers and scientists to facilitate the development of renewable energy technologies in Botswana. The solar lighting project commenced in November 2018 with feasibility studies.
GESA Founding Chairperson – Obuile Morewane says through the project, the association intend to raise awareness and capacitate the nation about renewable energy technologies, especially at grass roots level.
Both GESA and BDC believe that with more developments explored with renewable resources comes a variety of benefits to local communities.
“These include knowledge creation on industries, transfer of skills and employment creation opportunities, which are vital low-hanging fruits for driving economic development. Research has indicated Botswana as a prime location for solar power because of the intensity and the duration of sunlight exposure that comes with our desert climate”, said
BDC CSR Committee Chairperson – Boitshwarelo Lebang.
The GESA project comes at a time when Botswana gas been tipped as a potential regional price leader in solar power. The country receives 3,200 hours of sunshine per annum with an average insulation on a horizontal surface of 21MJ/m2. This is one of the highest rates of insulation in the world, according to Jonathan Berman – Managing Director of Fieldstone Group.
Globally, solar power stations are concentrated in the United States and Europe, with the largest of them being the 354megawatts station in Mojave Desert in California in USA.