Botswana pins hope on China-Africa linkage in solar energy

solar panel
solar panel

Experts and policymakers in Botswana have expressed hope that the China-Africa linkage in the use of solar energy technologies will spur the southern African country’s transition from overreliance on coal for electricity generation.

Botswana has embarked on an ambitious journey of transitioning from overreliance on coal for electricity generation toward increasing the share of renewable energies, said Lefoko Moagi, Botswana’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, told Xinhua in a recent telephone interview.

Moagi, who late last month attended the International Solar Alliance (ISA)’s fourth Regional Committee Meeting in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, said Botswana’s quest for solar energy development could be realized through China’s potential and involvement.

“Users of solar energy technology in Botswana should be working closely with manufacturers of the technology in China,” said Moagi, adding that he learnt a lot from the ISA meeting which brought together African energy ministers to discuss ways of bringing long-term solutions to energy shortages in Africa using solar energy resources.

Botswana generates its electricity from coal and it is doing everything within its power to move toward increasing the share of renewable energies.

Moagi said the country’s power utility Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) recently rolled out two solar projects with different private players – a 3MW in the northeastern Botswana and a 1MW in the northwestern village of Shakawe – for them to generate and feed into national grid.

Gabaake Gabaake, an executive director at Tlou Energy Limited, an independent provider of clean energy in Botswana, told Xinhua on Friday in a separate interview that making use of Chinese technology and manpower to develop renewable energy resources would spur Botswana’s transition from carbon emissions.

“We need private sector that will focus on manufacturing solar pumps and other productive use applications. And the Chinese are the only with the expertise,” said Gabaake, saying Botswana can make strides through a linkage between her and China.

In partnership with some private players, President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently announced that Botswana is planning to build a solar power plant that will produce 25 gigawatts of electricity.

Late last year, Masisi also pronounced that Botswana is aiming to deliver small-scale digester plants to reduce greenhouse emissions by 1.65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by next year in order to attain reduction of national carbon emissions to 15 percent by 2030. Enditem

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