Botswana is planning to build 200 MW of CSP capacity by 2026, according to a new integrated resource plan (IRP) published by the government on 15 December 2020. The procurement process is expected to start in 2021.
Botswana is a land-locked sub-Saharan country bordering South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, that hosts vast swathes of low-cost land that records direct normal irradiance (DNI) of over 2,200 kWh per year, similar to solar levels seen in Morocco, an early mover in CSP deployment. South Africa, located further south, has already installed 500 MW of CSP capacity. Solar costs have plummeted in recent years and the IRP will kickstart renewable energy deployment in Botswana. Until now, the country has relied on coal-fired power generation and imports. Last year, the government awarded its first power generation licences to companies mainly planning coal-fired power units for exports.
In total, the government has approved the construction of 1.5 GW of new capacity by 2040, starting with 135 MW of PV capacity by 2022. Under the plan, Botswana will build up to 800 MW of new PV capacity, 200 MW of CSP, 50 MW of wind, 140 GW of battery storage, as well as 300 MW of coal-fired and 250 MW of coal bed methane (CBM) capacity. The new build program will provide "competitive, cost-effective and sustainable electricity prices for industries, services and households," the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, said in a statement.
Source: Reuters Events/CSP Today