Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
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Botswana has export potential given its central geographic location in the region.  To strengthen Botswana’s exporting capacity, the GoB is investing in national and regional grid infrastructure, as well as refurbishment of general transmission infrastructure.  Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)’s rural electrification program is still ongoing, and this covers new connections and expansion in some villages.  The current power deficit in the region has had a huge impact on villages along the borders which have traditionally been serviced from cross-border supply and hence speeding up the corporation’s efforts of rural electrification.  The corporation has been floating solar power projects in different areas of the country, these including 3 photovoltaic power projects in Maun, Lobatse and Ghanzi, and a 100 MW solar PV for Jwaneng.  With 212 billion tons of coal, coal-fired plants remain the foundation of the GoB’s energy framework and current peak demand of approximately 610 MW.  Two power plants near Palapye, about 200 km north of Gaborone, supply the vast majority of the country’s electricity.  Morupule B’s current capacity is 600 MW, but it has faced technical challenges and at times has been closed for repairs or operated at partial capacity.  The rehabilitated Morupule A power station which was to add 132 MW of power to the national supply still does not operate at its optimum capacity. There are two diesel operating power plants, Orapa which produces 90 MW and Matshelagabedi producing 70 MW. Both these are emergency power plants that are used to mitigate any short fall.  In 2023, BPC agreed to procure up to 600 MW of power generation from a yet-to-be-built coal-fired power station.  Additionally, Botswana imports the bulk of its power from South African utility Eskom, and the rest from Nampower (Namibia), Zesco (Zambia), and the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), to make up for any production shortfalls.  According to Statistics Botswana, local electricity generation and distribution has showed a slight improvement, increasing by 10.2 percent from 807,943 MWh during the fourth quarter of 2022 to 890,655 MWh during the first quarter of 2023.  The increase was attributable to the performance improvement of Morupule A and B power stations.  However, power delivery challenges remain, and the BPC grid faced a temporary full outage in May 2023, possibly linked to the troubled performance of the South African grid.   

Botswana’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) continues to provide a roadmap and guidance to achieve a reliable, safe, and affordable electricity supply with a target of renewable energy contributing 30 percent to the energy mix by 2030 from its current negligible contribution.  Additionally, the country launched a Rooftop Solar (RTS) Program in October 2020 with the assistance of USAID initiative Power Africa’s Southern Africa Energy Program (SAEP).  The five-year project, which is designed to increase the supply of and access to electricity in Southern Africa, enables domestic consumers to install their own solar systems to generate electricity and sell excess back to BPC. 

Botswana has tremendous potential for solar energy utilization, with an annual Direct Normal Irradiation equivalent of 3,000 kWh/m²/a in most parts of the country, with an average insolation on a horizontal surface of 21 MJ/ m².   Many previous independent power producer (IPP) projects have not succeeded due to regulatory framework challenges, power purchase agreement (PPA) pricing terms, and the cost of commercially financed capital.  The 2007 Amendment to the Electricity Supply Act allows private companies to participate in power generation and sign PPAs to sell electricity to BPC; however, BPC maintains an effective monopoly of transmission and distribution of electricity.  IPP use of the grid is effectively limited to IPPs with PPA agreements with BPC.  IPP guidelines in the form of a National Energy Policy (NEP) were released in April 2021.  The NEP indicates Botswana’s desire to create a conducive environment that will facilitate investment and create employment in the energy sector.  To create a more enabling environment, the GoB set up an energy regulator, the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), which began operation in September 2017.  This has sparked interest in renewable energy development within the private sector.

Botswana also has wind and coalbed methane potential that have not been fully explored.  Reasonable wind speeds exist in the country with the highest wind resources potential located in the Southwest, Central, and Eastern parts of the country with averaging wind speeds above 7 m/s, wind power density above 200W/ m² and annual energy production above 4.5 GWh/year.  A theoretical biomass energy potential also exists at 32 million GJ per year, estimated from a considerable biomass potential of 20 million tons per year, which could come from cow dung and municipal solid waste.  A feasibility study for production and use of biofuels in Botswana has revealed the potential for liquid biofuels production, mainly biodiesel from Jatropha carcass and ethanol from sweet reed.  In January 2021, a Canadian company began oil and gas exploration activities on the Namibian side of the environmentally sensitive Kavango Basin area in northeast Namibia and northwestern Botswana.  Botswana is heavily reliant on imports of refined petroleum products, particularly from South Africa as it does not have any proven crude oil reserves or refineries.  Botswana’s strategic reserves storage is also not yet up to international standard; storage capacity is approximately 18 days compared to the international standard strategic storage capacity of 90 days.  Commercial buffer stock stands at less than five days of national consumption compared to the international standard of 14 days cover.  The government-owned company, Botswana Oil Limited is working on a 187-million-liter petroleum storage facility project (Tshele Hill facility) to meet the government’s objective of achieving 60 days cover of strategic reserves.  The project is to be developed through a public-private partnership model and, as of the close of the 2021/22 financial year, a feasibility study had been completed and an expression of interest tender floated.  The company is also pursuing coal beneficiation through a coal-to-liquid fuels project named the Ikaegeng XTL project, as well as working to expand the 37-million-liter fuel storage facility in Francistown to 95 million liters.  It is also looking to construct a 35-million-liter storage facility in Ghanzi.

Power Africa 

Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership aiming to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  It offers tools and resources to private sector entities to facilitate doing business in sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector.  The Electrify Africa Act of 2015 Institutionalized Power Africa.  Learn more about the full Power Africa toolbox or other opportunities offered by Power Africa.

Power Africa supported the development of BPC’s Rooftop Solar net metering pilot program for grid-tied solar projects on commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential roofs.  The program was officially launched in November 2020.  BPC limited the pilot to 10 MW of solar installations but has approved more than 17 MW of projects to date.  Approximately 7 MW of project have completed installation.

In April 2021, Power Africa signed a Mega Solar Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with the governments of Botswana and Namibia, the International Finance Corporation, the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the African Development Bank.  The initiative delivers technical advisory, procurement, and private sector regulatory services to the GoB and BPC.

Power Africa also worked with Botswana’s power utility – the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) – and Botswana’s Department of Energy to establish the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) in 2017.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects 

Energy equipment, solar heating systems, solar photovoltaic equipment, and engineering services are the best sub-sector prospects. 


The GoB’s growing openness to independent power producers (IPP) and solar projects as well as its investments in grid infrastructure provides opportunities to develop energy projects for domestic use and export. 

Substantial natural gas reserves (coalbed methane) exist in Central and Northeast Botswana.  Once fully developed, the natural gas deposits could generate substantial downstream opportunities for new natural gas intensive equipment and services. 


  • Botswana Ministry of Minerals and Energy
  • Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry
  • Botswana Investment and Trade Centre 
  • Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)
  • Botswana Department of Customs and Excise.