How to citeLast update: December 2021
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- Botswana’s power sector relies overwhelmingly on coal: close to 100% of its power generation is made from coal coming mostly from its own domestic production. Botswana is also an exporter of coal to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
- With estimated coal reserves of over 212 billion tonnes, Botswana has roughly 66% of Africa’s identified untapped coal reserves, and the country is actively seeking investors to exploit this significant resource potential.6 The country is aiming to boost its coal production in the coming years and to increase its coal capacities with a current pipeline of 2.8GW planned to reduce its power imports from South Africa mostly due to the demand from its diamond industry. Botswana has plans to increase its coal exports to cement manufacturers and boiler operators and saw the awarding of three coal plant generation licenses in 2020.
- Such plans put the country at risk of significant carbon lock-in and subsequent high-value stranded assets in the power sector.
- Analysed 1.5°C compatible pathways show that Botswana should fully phase out coal from its energy mix by 2030 in some models and by 2040 at the latest.
- Our analysis show that renewables could reach 72-99% of the power mix by 2040, and 99-100% by 2050. High uptake of renewable energy could also help facilitate the transition from traditional biofuels to electrification, especially in rural areas.1
- A 1.5°C compatible grid carbon intensity would need to reach full decarbonisation by 2040, and this would require a reduction of carbon intensity of between 73-114% relative to 2017 levels by 2030. The reduction is achievable through an uptake of renewable energy and carbon dioxide removal approaches such as land sinks or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. This stands in contrast with Botswana’s current explicit goal of renewable energy contributing only 14.28% of the national power mix by 2025, which is 5 years before fossil fuel utilisation should be halved.3