Electricity in Botswana

Electricity in Botswana
Electricity in Botswana
Table 3 shows the installed capacity in 2012, broken down by type. As already indicated there was 132MW of coal-fired capacity and 160MW of diesel-fired gas turbine peaking capacity. There is also a limited amount of off-grid capacity based on solar cells (not shown in the table since capacities are not known), mostly supplied by a company called BPC Lesedi, a collaborative effort between BPC the UNDP and the Global Environment Facility. EDF International is also a partner in the scheme.
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Botswana has established itself as one of the most stable democracies in Southern Africa. The country has major coal reserves and one of the highest solar intensities in the continent. However its electricity sector has been hampered by both low access to power by the population, and an extremely limited generating capacity. In the past the small generating capacity has been compensated for by the ready import of power from South Africa. However a power shortage in the latter means that exports are being significantly curtailed so that several countries in the Southern African Power Pool including Botswana must increase their own generating capacity to compensate. Capacity is being expanded with a major new power plant using Chinese contractors, but the project is behind schedule, and the Botswana Power Corporation is having to use emergency diesel generation to meet the shortfall. Over the medium term there are plans for further significant capacity expansion so that all demand can be met from within Botswana and that, potentially, the country could use its coal reserves to become an exporter of power. Plans to attract independent power producers will depend on an overhaul of the regulatory framework, currently underway, and the establishment of electricity tariffs determined by market rates. If this can be achieved then the country appears to offer opportunities for a range of both generation, transmission and distribution projects.

This report is a Country Profile, covering:
  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment opportunities
  • Future project plans


  • An overview of the electricity market in Botswana.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Imports of refined petroleum products are estimated to be between 15,000bbl/day and 20,000bll/day.
  • There are reserves of coal-bed methane, put at 990tn m3.
  • The highest voltage lines are 220kV linking the Morupule power station site to the main urban centres.
  • There are several remote grids operating in addition to the main grid, including one in the west that takes power from Namibia and one in the north.
  • Demand for electricity in Botswana has been increasing steadily over the past thirty years.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Botswana generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the national electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Botswana?

Date Published / Pages / Format

December, 2013 / 26 pages / PDF