Botswana launches net metering scheme for rooftop PV


Botswana's Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) has launched, this week, a net metering scheme for rooftop PV systems.

Dubbed Rooftop Solar Programme (RTS), the scheme is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is expected to allocate 10 MW of installed PV power in the first 12 months. Applications may be sent to the country's state-owned electric utility Botswana Power Corp starting from November 30. “Two megawatts of the capacity is reserved for domestic consumers and 8 MW for commercial and industrial consumers,” the ministry said in a statement. “The program was developed as a means of creating an enabling environment for end users who can generate their own electricity and sell to BPC.”

The scheme is also aimed at increasing the country's installed capacity. Around 29% of Botswana’s current power demand is covered by domestic coal power generation, which comes from the 600 MW coal-fired power plant known as Morupule B. The remaining 71% comprises power imports from South Africa. Due to several technical problems with the Morupule B plant, however, the country is suffering from chronic energy shortages.

According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Botswana had only 3 MW of installed PV power at the end of last year. The country is also seeking to deploy large scale PV capacities through several tenders.

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