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An Assessment of Policies and Programme designed for the Production and Distribution of Modern Renewable Energy to Rural Areas in Botswana

Joseph E. Mbaiwa

University of Botswana, Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre, Private Bag 285 Maun, Botswana


Abstract

This paper assesses policies and programmes designed for the production and distribution of modern renewable energy to rural areas in Botswana. The shortage of modern energy in developing countries is often linked to inadequate policies and programmes. Like in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, modern energy used in Botswana is mainly from non-renewable energy sources and are mostly used in urban centers. Rural areas where over three-quarters of the people live are without the supply of modern energy. Although Botswana has a number of policies and programmes designed for the production and distribution of modern renewable energy in rural areas, such initiatives are characterized by a low rate of success hence the programme is not achieving the planned goals. For example, the photovoltaic rural electrification programme made only about 300 installations over a period of more than three years of its implementation. The shortage of modern energy in rural areas has, therefore, compelled rural communities to rely on fuel wood in order to meet their energy demands. Therefore, government approach in addressing the problem of lack of modern energy in rural areas should combine the provision of both renewable and non-renewable energy services in rural areas. This means the grid and PV rural electrification programmes should be designed such that they compliment each other.

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