BOTSWANA: SEFA Grants Renewable Energy Transition

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BOTSWANA: Sefa subsidises the switch to renewable energy ©zhengzaishuru/Shutterstock

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is providing a grant to the government of Botswana to support the energy transition. The southern African country depends on its neighbour South Africa for part of its electricity needs.

Botswana is getting a boost in its energy transition. It’s a $1 million grant recently awarded by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA); a financing mechanism managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the objective of supporting private sector interventions in electricity access in Africa.

The SEFA grant will, according to the AfDB, contribute to the implementation of a technical assistance project focusing on the introduction of least-cost planning, reduction of adverse environmental impacts and support for increased private sector participation in renewable energy generation investments. The project will also produce a national grid code, a study on the cost of electricity service, and a licensing framework to regulate electricity sector activities.

The beginnings of sustainable power sector development

According to the AfDB, its studies will enable the implementation of Botswana’s first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), facilitating investment in new solar photovoltaic and wind power generation capacity to reach at least 100 MW and 50 MW respectively by 2030.

Currently, Botswana has 450 MW of installed capacity, according to Power Africa, from the Morupule B coal-fired plant. Faced with a demand of 550 MW, the country imports 150 MW from South Africa. Botswana has already begun its energy transition with the support of the private sector, notably the independent power producers (IPPs).

Read also- BOTSWANA: Soventix wins the contract for the 3 MWp Bobonong solar plant

This is the case of Sturdee Energy, which is developing the Bobonong and Shakawe solar projects for a capacity of 4 MWp. Also, the southern African country has entered into a partnership with neighboring Namibia for the construction of a 5,000 MWp solar complex straddling the two countries. The project, considered feasible because of the potential of the two countries in terms of solar radiation, has already received favourable opinions from several financial partners, including the AfDB.

According to the pan-African financial institution based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the grant awarded by SEFA will support the initiative called “Mega Solar”, launched in 2021, with the aim of strengthening renewable energy capacities in both countries to enable the export of electricity to other countries in the sub-region.

Jean Marie Takouleu 

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