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Botswana

Renewable Energy Potential

Physical Potential

Botswana’s abundant renewable energy potential, particularly in solar and biomass remains largely untapped. The government acknowledges the need to create a regulatory framework to provide incentives for renewable energy development, and is working to develop a standalone renewable energy strategy.

Solar Potential

The country has over 3,200 hours of sunshine per year, and an average global irradiation of 21 MJ per m2/day throughout the country, one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the world. The government has made initial efforts to exploit this solar potential. In July 2015, Botswana called for Expressions of Interest for a 100 MW solar PV plant, and the electricity supply outlook from the Department of Energy Affairs contains 100MW of solar capacity from 2017 onwards. The African Development Bank and the World Bank have worked with the Government of Botswana on the development of a Bankable Feasibility Study for a 100 MW Concentrated Solar Thermal Plant (CSTP).

 

Solar Irradiation in Botswana (kWh/m2)

Source: Solargis

Wind Potential

The relatively low average wind speeds range from 2.0 to 3.5 m/s are not considered attractive for large-scale wind power development.

Hydro Potential

Botswana is not suitable for a significant hydropower development due to low and uneven rainfall that has caused severe water restrictions and supply interruptions. Ongoing hydro power projects are subject to international discussions of water use.

Bioenergy Potential

Biomass, mainly charcoal and firewood, continues to be a major source of energy for rural and low-income urban communities. The increase of trade in fuel-wood has resulted in deforestation and fuel-wood is now scarce in all areas of the country except in the North. The cattle population, estimated at 2.2 million head (exceeding the human population), indicates promising biogas potential, however few domestic and institutional biogas digesters have been installed in the country. The biofuel sector remains stagnant due to policy constraints, with a continued debate over a biofuels blending mandate primarily hampering growth in the sector.

Key figures

Available statistics:
Capital
Gaborone
Official languages
English, Setswana
Population (2019 est.)
2,305,882
Population growth (2017 est.), %
2.198
Median age (2018 est.), years
24.4
Urbanization rate (2015 - 2018), % p.a.
3.3
Urban population (2018), % of total
69.4
Rural population (2018), % of total
30.6
Population density (2018), per km2
3.9
HDI (2018), rank of 188
101 of 188
National Currency
Pula, BWP
Exchange rate (July 2019) USD
10.58 BWP = 1 USD
GDP (2018), USD million current
18,616
GDP growth (2018), %
4.5
GDP annual growth rate forecast (2020), %
4.0
GNI per capita (2018), current int’l USD
17,970
Inflation (2019), %
2.8
Inflation Rate Forecast (2020), %
3.8
Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (2018), BOP current USD millions
1,072
Net official development assistance (2018), current USD millions
102.050
Budget deficit (2016), % of GDP
-1.0
Ease of Doing Business (2018), rank of 190)
86
TI Corruption Index (2018), rank of 168
34
Installed Generation Capacity (MW, 2017)
927
Installed Fossil Fuel Capacity (MW, 2018), % of total installed capacity
100
Hydro Capacity (MW, 2018), % of total installed capacity
<1
Other RE Capacity (2018), % of total installed capacity
<1
Renewable electricity output as % of total electricity output excl. hydro (2017)
<1
Avg. distribution and transmission losses as % of output (2015)
14.78
Net electricity imports (2016), GWh
1,673
Electrification rate, total (2017) %
62.8
Electrification rate, urban (2017 vs 2014) %
80.3
Electrification rate, rural (2017 vs 2014) %
24.2
Peak demand (Financial year 2017 & 2018), MW
681
Per capita electricity consumption (2016), kWh
1,969
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