Mmegi Online :: Italy handholds Botswana in renewable energy
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Last Updated
Thursday 23 November 2017, 17:40 pm.
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Italy handholds Botswana in renewable energy

The government, through the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) has managed to secure over £2 million (P23.5 million) from the Italian government to help improve the renewable energy sector in the country.
By Pauline Dikuelo Thu 06 Jul 2017, 17:48 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Italy handholds Botswana in renewable energy








Addressing the media this week, deputy permanent secretary (environmental affairs) Thabang Botshoma said following the Cop21 conference last year, Botswana and Italy singed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on climate change issues. As part of the agreement, Italy sponsored Botswana with £2 million to fund the renewable energy projects. 

“At this point, some projects have already started inclusive of the greening of the Metrological Services and MENT headquarters office. We have managed to secure more funds to finance these other projects as we have not yet touched the £2 million,” he said.  Botswana does not currently have any renewable energy source apart from a 1.3 MW solar plant in Phakalane, Gaborone. 

There is however three tenders out for a 100MW solar plant, 20 mini hybrid plants in isolated villages as well as for a 100MW Coal Bed Methane (CBM) plant. On the other hand, Italy produces over 40% of its electricity needs from renewable energy.  Last year, the government through the MENT and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) signed a MoU on the cooperation in the field of climate change vulnerability, risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation in 2016.

At the first joint committee meeting between MENT and IMELS held last year April, the two countries approved a work plan for the renewable energy sector.  From this work plan, the first

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bilateral project was termed ‘technical assistance programme in supporting Botswana private sector and relevant institutions in renewable energy through investment promotion and technology transfer’ prepared by UNIDO Italy on the basis of the renewable energy sector agreement.

The implementation of this project whose main objective is to support the government in identifying and promoting new investment and technology transfer as well as capacity building activities in renewable energy has already started with several activities being undertaken by the two countries. Botshoma said both countries are worried about the low participation of the private sector on renewable energy in Botswana calling for their engagement.

“Earlier this year, Italy engaged UNIDO to come to Botswana to engage the private sector on renewable energy. The report of that engagement came out and also the climate change policy is now advanced,” he said.  In addition, Botshoma said the report came out and also the climate change policy is now advanced adding that the strategy and the Action Plan development has started. 

The ministry will today (Thursday) hold a conference aimed at identifying the private investments on renewable energy in the country as well as disseminate knowledge of local industrial SME and relevant institutions concerning innovative sustainable technologies in the selected sectors.  In addition the conference will identify at least six concrete innovative renewable energy projects in the country.

 

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