Botswana secures US$1m grant from AfDB’s SEFA fund to facilitate clean energy transition

BOTSWANA – The government of Botswana has secured US$1 million grant from The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) that is managed by the African Development Bank, to facilitate the country’s transition to clean energy.

The technical assistance project supports the Government of Botswana in closing critical gaps in policy, regulatory and legal frameworks, which were identified at the Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP 2019).

These include the introduction of least-cost planning, reduction of adverse environmental impacts and support for increased private sector participation in renewable energy (RE) generation investments.

Some of the notable outputs from the project include a national Grid Code, Electricity Cost of Service Study (CoSS) and licensing framework to regulate power sector activities.

Conceptualised under SEFA’s Green Baseload component, the project “will contribute to the development of essential building blocks to support Botswana’s energy transition,” said Dr. Daniel Schroth, Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the African Development Bank.

The outputs from the project will contribute towards the implementation of Botswana’s first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), thus facilitating investments in new solar PV and wind generation capacity, amounting to at least 100MW and 50MW, respectively, by 2030.

“It has been a long journey to access this AfDB grant facility,” said Duncan Morotsi, Chief Operating Officer at the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA).

“The approval is a great step forward in the regulator’s quest to facilitate independent power producers (IPPs), renewable energy sources and cost reflective tariffs in Botswana.  It was worthwhile pursuing this technical assistance from the AfDB.”

Through its support for the further development of the renewable energy generation sector in Botswana, the project also contributes to the Mega Solar initiative, launched in 2021 in collaboration with Namibia and development partners, with the aim of building renewable energy capacity in the two countries, to enable electricity exports to the rest of the region.

In September 2021, The German government contributed €100 million (US$115.83m) to the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), affirming its commitment to efforts to tap Africa’s renewable energy potential and drive its transition to clean energy sources.

The funding was to unlock private sector investment in green-baseload projects, a SEFA priority focus. Specifically, it will support technical assistance and investment in power generation, transmission and distribution to increase penetration of renewable power in African grids.

The funding followed Germany’s initial contribution to SEFA of €50 million (US$57.91m), made in 2020.

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