By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS (NADN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Botswana’s energy regulator has approved a generation license for a 100MW solar project to the local firm – Shumba Energy, a firm executive told on July 05th, 2021 bringing in as the primary independent power producer to set up a large-scale solar plant in the country.
From statistics given by the Department of Energy, is calculated at 681MW, anticipated to thrive to 1017MW by 2025. The escalation in the cost of imported electricity bonded with high power shortages in the 2000s has urged the administration of Botswana to reconsider its conclusion of highly depending on imports to assure the security of supply and nevertheless retain the least-cost theory.
Botswana accomplishes not presently have large-scale solar power generation and its 600MW national energy need is fulfilled by state-owned coal-fired plants and imports, largely from South Africa and Mozambique. Locally-listed Shumba Energy plans to implement the project in two stages with the construction of the first level of 50MW
plausible to commence in the following six months.
“With all the permits now in place, we are now working on concluding the funding, with capital expenditure estimated at $80 million for the whole project,” Managing Director Mashale Phumaphi noted.
Botswana has 212 billion tons of coal stocks and the fossil fuel is anticipated to proceed to lead power generation in the nation in the immediate possibility, pundits have asserted. Nonetheless, investors have frequently put forward skepticisms about the huge dependency of African nations on coal-based power plants that divulge millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
The diamond-rich nation, whose frugality has leased by near to 8% from a growth rate of up to 4% before diamond-rich plans to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 18% by 2030. Botswana has some of the highest levels of direct normal (solar) irradiation (DNI) – a measure of the amount of sunlight – at over 3,000 kWh/m2 per
annum, according to Solargis.com, a global agency on solar data.
Phumaphi let out the solar project had not approved any power off-take approvals but will regulate as a merchant power producer feeding into the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
State-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is currently the sole electricity producer in Botswana.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent