Solar energy in Botswana:
The Republic of Botswana in the southern region of Africa has one of the fastest-growing economies in the continent. Nevertheless, the rural areas – which are remotely isolated – pose a lot of problems to rural energy development and management due to the following:
- Remoteness from the national electricity transmission grid
- Inadequate road links or networks with the urban centers
The Need for Energy in Botswana
Until recently – before solar energy in Botswana was considered as a source to be used for generating electricity – up to 80 percent of the rural population in Botswana make use of firewood to heat and light their homes. And this has led to the massive destruction of many acres of forest.
Coal in Botswana
Botswana also has significant reserves of coal which are estimated to be over 200 billion tons. No petroleum reserves have been readily identified, and for this reason, every petroleum product is imported – already refined from South Africa. For several years Botswana has been relying heavily on neighboring countries – like Mozambique, South Africa, and Namibia for electricity.
Botswana is fully recognized as one of the best, African-irradiated countries in the entire world, and also offers great stipulations for the installation of solar energy plants.
Solar Energy in Botswana: Hope for the People
The full exploitation of solar energy in Botswana as an infinite source of power will result in the establishment of sustainable power supply. This will consequently support and promote the development of a green economy.
To minimize Botswana’s dependence on the cost-intensive importation of energy to enhance the national grid as well as to prevent power cuts while providing affordable and consistent clean energy to communities that are living in areas that are off the grid, alternative power production resources is highly imperative.
And this is why the World Bank has decided to step in so that the national strategic plan for the profound development of renewable energy in Botswana can be developed.
This will also enable the southern African nation to combat climate change by swiftly unlocking the solar potential in Botswana while boosting the economy as well as creating jobs.
Solar Energy in Botswana
Botswana will need nothing less than 500 MW of dispatchable, committed electricity-generating capacity by 2040. This is to keep pace with the demand for power.
This partnership with the World Bank has shown that solar energy in Botswana, when properly utilized, will go a long way in eradicating power outages while minimizing the importation of petroleum-based products for generating power or electricity.
Several individuals have discovered the potential for solar energy in Botswana, and this has led to the creation of more than a few solar-based companies such as the following:
- So Solar
- Solar Power
- Solar International Botswana
- Energy Systems Group/Solahart Botswana
All these companies are based in Botswana and work individually to provide solar-based power to homes, lodges, rural communities, farms, classrooms, offices, etc.
The extensive use of solar energy in Botswana will also lead to the preservation of forests via the reduction of the need for firewood, thereby saving girls and women valuable time.