Located in the centre of southern Africa, Botswana is known for its abundant wilderness, stable democracy and fast-growing economy.
Whilst there is still room for improvement, Botswana’s electrification rates have also followed a positive upwards trend for the last decade.
However, despite its redeeming qualities, the country has struggled with a power supply crisis for years — with blackouts being implemented all the way up until November 2022, when the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) promised to end its load shedding programme.
As such, Botswana has set its sights on solar in the search for a reliable and cost-effective electricity source, with hydropower no longer viable due to droughts.
To encourage the uptake of PV systems, Botswana enforces 20% import duties on solar lights and lanterns (and 5% on solar batteries), as well as net-metering for rooftop installations. In terms of Botswana’s strategic goals, the country has set the target of having renewables make up 15% of the energy mix by 2030 — and 50% by March 2036.
Thankfully, numerous large-scale PV projects are helping make this dream a reality…
Botswana’s first grid-connected PV projects entered construction in August 2022. The two projects, located in Bobonong and Shakawe, have a total capacity of 3MW and 1MW, respectively, and mark a milestone in the country’s solar power journey.
Shortly after, in September 2022, independent power producer (IPP) Scatec signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the BPC for the construction of a 50MWp PV plant in the mining town of Selebe-Phikwe. It is thought that the plant will be capable of powering 20,000 homes — and offsetting 48,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Fast-forward six months, and the BPC has issued a request for proposals for the development and construction of seven PV plants across sub-Saharan areas that will likely enter construction in February 2023 — with the deadline to submit bits set for March 2023.
SegenSolar is keen to foster the development of additional small and large-scale PV installations across Botswana. If you are a homeowner, you can get in touch for more details about our work. If you are an installer, you can explore our range on the portal — just log in or sign up for a free account.