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African Development Bank’s SEFA Approves $1 Million Grant for Energy Transition in Botswana

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The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a grant of $1 million to the Government of Botswana in support of the country’s energy transition to clean energy.

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SEFA is a Multi-Donor Special Fund, managed by African Development Bank (AfDB) that attempts to unlock private sector investments on the provision of universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services for all in Africa, in line with the AfDB’s strategy for New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7.

The technical assistance project will support Botswana’s government in closing the critical policy, regulatory, and legal gaps, that were identified at the Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP 2019). These gaps include the introduction of least-cost planning, reduction of adverse environmental impacts, and support for increased private sector investment in renewable energy projects.

Some of the remarkable outputs from the project are the National Grid Code, Electricity Cost of Service Study, and licensing framework for the regulation of power sector activities. The project output will work towards the implementation of the first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of Botswana. This will facilitate more investments in solar PV and wind generation capacity, adding at least 100 MW and 50 MW of energy projects, respectively, by 2030.

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In addition to further development in the renewable energy sector of Botswana, the project also contributes to the Mega Solar initiative which was launched last year, in collaboration with Namibia and development partners. The initiative aims to strengthen renewable energy capacity in the two countries and enable electricity exports to the rest of the Southern African region.

Daniel Schroth, Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at AfDB said the project is devised under SEFA’s Green Baseload component. It will contribute to the development of essential building blocks for diversifying Botswana’s energy mix and supporting the country’s energy transition.

Duncan Morotsi, Chief Operating Officer at BERA noted that it was a long journey to access the AfDB funding. “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,’’ he said.

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