Renewable Energy Could Plug Power Shortages

Morupule B
Morupule B

PALAPYE: Chairman of BIUST Council, Bernard Bolele, has said that the country is aggressively pursuing the use of biofuels including biodiesel and other renewable energy technologies to meet the local power production that is insufficient to meet national demand.

Officially opening the International Conference on Clean Energy for Sustainable Growth in the  Developing Country recently, Bolele said government is promoting the use of renewable energy, especially solar to increase its share in the energy mix. “Botswana Power Corporation has installed a 1.3 MW grid connected photovoltaic power plant at Phakalane with the aid of the government of Japan. There was also a call recently for Expression of Interest to build two 50 MW solar power plants,” he said.

He added that the response to this call is huge and the Department of Energy is looking at the responses to shortlist the best proposals. He further said the national energy policy has been considered by Cabinet and will soon be presented to Parliament. “Once adopted the energy policy will pave way for the development of sectoral strategies which will guide energy planning and decision making in regard to the energy sector,” he added.

Bolele said the national demand for electricity is increasing rapidly because of the country’s steady industrial and commercial development, population growth and rural-to-urban migration. He said this then requires provision of electricity to meet the current demand. The current maximum demand for the country is estimated at 861 MW with an installed generating capacity of 892 MW of which 132 MW from Morupule A is still under care and maintenance and will only be available by the end of 2017.

“The current available capacity is only 460MW: 300MW from Morupule B; 90MW from Orapa Power Plant and 70MW from Matshelagabedi Alstom Power Plant. This is just insufficient to meet the national demand,” he added.

He noted that the need for clean energy cannot be overemphasised in the world we live in today and lack of sustainable energy affects all sectors of the economy. He said the challenges posed by energy provision must be appreciated and addressed openly and pragmatically and this includes planning, policies and strategies, human capacity development and training, financial resources and infrastructure provision.

He observed that educational programmes on clean energy must not only be confined to technical colleges to produce artisans and technicians but also be offered at undergraduate level. “Clean energy must continue to be a research theme as there are many unearthed areas in the discipline where knowledge must be generated for local application at international quality level.

“Appropriate adoption of clean energy can make industries respond positively to the challenges,” he noted.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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