Botswana has published its plan to develop its power sector to 2040, with coal dominating initially before being replaced by solar.
The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) launched the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) this week, from 2020 to 2040. This plan is in line with various policies set out by the government, including Vision 2036 and the 11th National Development Plan (NDP).
The IRP aims to secure 1,540 MW of new capacity by 2040. Botswana aims to meet growing energy demand while reducing its carbon footprint. Most domestic power comes from the Morupule coal-fired power plant.
In the near term, though, the country aims to have 300 MW of new coal projects installed by 2026, but with no additions thereafter. Coal-bed methane (CBM) will provide 10 MW by 2025, rising to 250 MW by 2040.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) has the greatest growth in the longer term. The IRP aims for 100 MW by 2022, another 100 MW by 2027 and then reaching 600 MW by 2040.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) will reach 200 MW by 2026, while wind will provide 50 MW by 2027.
Finally, battery storage is aimed to reach 18 MW by 2032, rising to 140 MW by 2040.
Botswana is in the process of procuring 135 MW of solar PV and 10-100 MW of CBM, starting up in 2022 and 2025 respectively.
Power procurement plans are to step up in 2021. The MMGE aims to procure 200 MW of CSP and 300 MW of coal. The IRP calls for both of these to begin generating in 2026.
Tlou Energy has set out its plans to provide 10 MW of coal-bed methane (CBM) fuelled generation. Tender negotiations with the government are due to start in January. The MMGE has selected Tlou as a preferred bidder.
The company is in the process of signing up funding for its CBM plans. The first phase would need around $10 million, while the second phase – taking generation to 10 MW – will need around $20mn.
There is scope for further expansion beyond 10 MW, Tlou said.
Tlou has also sent requests to tender for a 100 km transmission line, this month. This would connect its Lesedi project to the power grid. Responses are expected in the first quarter of 2021.
The power company has also raised the possibility of generating solar power in Botswana. This would involve installing solar PV panels at its Lesedi CBM project.
Tlou has said the combination of gas and solar would solve intermittency problems. It could use gas solely at night, gas and solar as the sun rises and sets, and solar alone during full daylight.