May 9, 2016
On Monday 9 May, BITRI held a public seminar on the topic “Electricity Deficit and Opportunity for Embedded Generation in Southern Africa.” The guest speaker at the Seminar, Mr Dominic Milazi, Research Group Leader for Energy Market Design and Policy Analysis at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) focused on making a business case for solar energy.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Mr Dikagiso B. Mokotedi when delivering the Welcome Remarks said “One of BITRI’s area of concentration in research is on energy. The BITRI Energy Division focuses on the development and adoption of energy technologies for Botswana. BITRI carries out research on solar energy to find out how it can be effectively harnessed to provide long term benefits for Batswana.”
“You will agree with me that as a country we have abundant sunlight which if effectively taken advantage of, could solve most of our energy needs in the country. Renewable energy has potential to address many of the energy challenges that we are facing and such it is an industry that we should strive to do more research on and grow.”
Mr Milazi gave an overview of the Energy consumption in southern Africa with reference to Renewable energy resource base, basic economic considerations and advantages of embedded solar PV, the market/policy environment for embedded generation, as well as the technical and policy challenges. He made a case for Net Feed-in Tariff (NETFIT) as a mechanism or policy intervention for promoting the market for medium-to-small scale embedded generation.
“The NETFIT is designed to make electricity distributors financially indifferent to embedded small-scale generators while simultaneously eliminating risks in the business case for investors in small-scale embedded generation,” said Mr Milazi. He further demonstrated how risks of stakeholders along the supply chain, amongst them municipalities, PV owners, PV manufacturers, SMMEs and end consumers will be addressed.
The BITRI public seminars are held quarterly and are one of the ways that the organization promotes science and technology for society, and the organisation invites experts from fields within the BITRI focus areas to share insights on specific topics that are of interest to Botswana and the region.