Botswana Supports Batswana Companies in Energy Sector.

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The government is committed to supporting capable Batswana companies and their contribution to the development of the energy sector, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Mr Lefoko Moagi has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of Bobonong three megawatts (3MW) solar PV plant on Friday developed by Sturdee Energy, he said the government had reserved 10 remaining small-scale grid-tied solar PV projects for citizen-owned enterprises to enable meaningful participation in the energy sector by Batswana.

“The award of the sites is expected before the end of December,” the minister said.

He said the ministry was also in the process of procuring 10 additional sites across the country for solar PV projects in Molepolole, Lobatse, Maun, Ghanzi, Serowe, Tsabong, Charlesshill, Kasane, Tutume and Kang.

He indicated that in addition to the 12 small-scale grid-tied solar PV projects, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) had signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for a utility-scale grid-connected 50MW solar PV plant to be developed in Selebi-Phikwe.

“To promote citizen participation in utility-scale grid-connected solar PV projects, the government has made it mandatory for a minimum of 40 percent shareholding in these projects to be held by Botswana entities,” Mr. Moagi said.

He further said the ministry had launched a rooftop solar PV program in 2020 in line with government efforts to combat climate change while also fulfilling the country’s international commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This will not only contribute to our renewable energy target but also align our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030, based on 2010 levels,” Mr. Moagi said, adding the ministry had added 30MW to industrial, commercial, and residential customers through rooftop solar program.

Also, he said as part of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the ministry had identified the development of a 200MW dispatchable concentrated solar plant, which was currently under procurement.

Additionally, he said the ministry was looking into more solar PV plants, and wind and battery energy storage projects within the next three to five years.

“These projects will contribute towards achieving our target of 50 percent contribution to power generation from renewable energy sources by 2036,” he added. For his part, BPC chief executive officer, Mr David Kgoboko said the completion of the Bobonong plant resonated with the corporation’s commitment to achieving a balanced and sustainable energy mix.

Mr Kgoboko said there was a need to drive for the adoption of greener sources to move away from the global concerns about the adverse impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the cost of solar PV equipment had reduced significantly over the past 10 years, making it possible for countries with abundant solar resources to invest in large-scale solar plants.

“We also anticipate that the cost of energy storage will continue to decline, making dispatchable utility-scale solar PV energy sources affordable,” he said.

Kgosi Joel Masilo expressed expectations of fewer power cuts and improved business activities. He said with electricity, his people felt safer than during dark nights.

 

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