Botswana explores alternative energy sources - May 15, 2011 - Xinhua - - Technical Articles - Index - Library - GENI - Global Energy Network Institute

Botswana explores alternative energy sources

May 15, 2011 - Xinhua -

    Botswana plans to develop renewable energy to tackle the increasing demand of energy that has recently been outsourcing supply in the Southern African country.

    Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe on Thursday told a press briefing that the government is exploring ways of producing diesel from animal fat.

    Kedikilwe said this is part of a wider plan to seek alternative sources of energy.

    He said that currently, the ministry is experimenting with animal fat produced by Botswana Meat Commission (BMC). However, a study has shown that fat from BMC alone will not be sufficient hence there is need for other sources.

    "The problem will be the logistics of collecting fat throughout the country," he said.

    Kedikilwe said they might have to consider collecting fat from other sources like butcheries and slaughterhouses in the beef exporting country.

    Despite possessing one of the largest coal beds in Africa, Botswana has for a long time remained an importer of energy, with large amounts of power sourced from neighboring South Africa. Only recently has the country started considering alternate sources of energy with biogas and solar energy being the immediate targets.

    Botswana has also engaged in a vigorous move to be energy self- sufficient through expansion of its only coal-powered power station, dubbed the Morupule B project. Another project in the pipeline is the Mmamabula Power Project that is set to change Botswana into an energy hub once complete.