Monday, October 25, 2021

Renewable energy resources have minute impact on Botswana’s supply mix

A report compiled by the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) has revealed that the contribution of renewable energy resources in Botswana’s supply mix is insignificant. This is despite the fact that Botswana is endowed with abundant renewable resources in the form of biomass, solar and wind.

According to the report, “For instance, the country receives approximately a mean annual solar radiation of 21 Mega Joules per m2 per day which translates into approximately 5.8KW per m2 per day of electricity. Thus the country is among the highest solar radiation receiver in the world. Electricity generated from solar is one of the potential mitigation measures which have been highlighted in the Draft Energy Policy report of 2010.”

According to the Draft Energy Policy report, it is envisaged that by 2030, 25 percent of the peak electricity demand will be met from the renewable energy. To ensure that such target is partially achieved, the government of Botswana has floated two tenders for the construction of two 50 MW solar plants in Jwaneng and Ngamiland areas. It is postulated that the two solar plants would supply the diamond mine in Jwaneng and the copper-nickel mines at Bosetu in the north western part of the country.

“Given that the mining sector is one of the major energy consumers in the country this will augment supply from Morupule coal-fired power station and simultaneously reduce associated Green House Gases (GHG) emission. The two 50MW solar stations will have an output of approximately 328.5 million KWh of electricity annually by 2030, based on electricity demand and electricity production to meet the demand,” it elucidates further.

The report further shows that there are proposals from private companies such as Shumba Coal to construct a 200 MW solar plant in the north-western part of the country where vast deposits of copper-nickel has been discovered. Though the solar power stations have targeted mining sectors, it is envisaged that they will also supply the settlements in the vicinity.

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