18 August 2010 – Camco, a South African based energy consultancy company, currently on a 6-months development study on Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs (REFIT) for Botswana has indicated that the project is expected to encourage and promote greater and effective private sector investment in power generation in the country.
Commissioned by the Department of Energy Affairs under the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR), the company started this project at the end of June and is expected to complete it before the end of December this year.
At a first stakeholders consultation workshop on REFIT last Thursday, Camco’s South Africa Managing Director Jonathan Curren said in addition to improving the nation’s energy security, renewable energy sources would also help in mitigation of climate change. He said the initiative would also bring on board the private sector by way of opening new market opportunities as well as increasing interest from investors. He, however, highlighted the need for the initiative to be aligned with the nation’s development objective. " It must not result in negative socio-economic impacts," he said.
According to Onismus Manyewe, senior consultant at Camco, the company will in its six months study here review policy, regulatory and legislative framework to see how supportive it is to the implementation of the REFIT.
He said they would work on developing a tariff model for priority renewable energy technologies. The Botswana project has been divided into three phases; inception, followed by preview and situational analysis as well as technical review while the last phase will cover consultation, refinement and final report. Camco is an international company working in the field of energy and climate change.
The London Stock Exchange listed company has vast experience working with renewable energy industries sources worldwide. Last year REFIT helped in the creation of over three million jobs worldwide.
The Botswana government has recently developed increased interest in alternative sources of energy, especially renewable sources as the region is facing a period of serious power shortages. Despite being endowed with abundant renewable sources of energy, mostly solar and biomass, these have remained largely untapped due to a number of challenges, which include lack of significant private sector participation and low levels of investment in the power sector. The country still relies heavily on power imports as internal power generation only meets 20 percent of the national power requirements, with the remaining 80 percent being imported from the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP), mostly from South Africa.