The Cost and Returns of Solar Energy in Botswana
Electricity from fossil fuels costs between 5 and 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. Solar energy costs average between 3 cents and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour and are trending down
The total cost of the Indian Bhadla solar PV monocrystalline power Park was $1400 million for 2255 MW capacity. It is located in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. The plant was commissioned in phases between 2016 and 2018.
It was developed by multiple entities, including RSDCL, Saurya Urja Company, and Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan. Rajasthan Solarpark Development Company Limited (RSDCL) is a subsidiary company of RREC.
The cost of building a similar power plant in Botswana would certainly be higher than the cost of building a similar plant in India. This is because Botswana has a higher cost of labor and materials, and the country is not as well developed as India in terms of its infrastructure.
Additionally, Botswana is a landlocked country, which means that it would be more expensive to transport materials and equipment to the site of the plant.
Based on these factors, I estimate that the cost of building a 2,255 MW solar power plant in Botswana would be between $1.6 and $1.8 billion, or even $2 billion. This is not significant increase over the cost of building the Bhadla Solar Power Plant in India
However, the returns of building a similar plant with the same 2255 MW capacity would be much higher than that in India
Based on these factors, I estimate that the returns on investment for a 2,255 MW solar power plant in Botswana would be around 10%.
This is significantly higher than the return rate on investment for a similar plant in India, which is around 5%. Investments or loans to build a huge PV solar power park in Botswana will be twice as profitably than in India.
It will also have a much greater impact on the development of Botswana and the region. Botswana has the potential to generate and export electricity at competitive rates to around 12 neighboring countries.
The country has a high solar irradiance and a growing population and economy, which means that there is a growing demand for electricity. Additionally, Botswana is located in a strategic location, with neighboring countries that are in need of reliable and affordable electricity.
The following are some of the benefits of Botswana exporting electricity to its neighboring countries:
1. It would help to meet the growing demand for electricity in the region.
2. It would create jobs in the construction and operation of the power plants.
3. It would boost the economy by generating revenue from the sale of electricity
4. It would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil fuel-fired power plants.
However, there are also some challenges that Botswana would need to overcome in order to export electricity to its neighboring countries. These challenges include:
1. The cost of building and operating the power plants.
2. The need to develop the infrastructure to transport the electricity to the neighboring countries
3. The need to negotiate agreements with the neighboring countries to purchase the electricity
Despite these challenges, I believe that Botswana has the potential to become a major exporter of electricity in the region. Botswana certainly has the resources and the location to make this great project a reality and develop its people and economy very fast.
The cost of building a 100-Megawatt monocrystalline PV solar power plant in Botswana with zero land cost and zero labor cost would be around $60 million.
This is based on the assumption that the only costs incurred would be the cost of the solar panels, the cost of the inverters, and the cost of the electrical infrastructure.
The cost of solar panels has been declining in recent years, and is expected to continue to decline in the future.
As a result, the cost of building a solar power plant is becoming more affordable. In addition, the cost of labor can vary greatly depending on the location of the plant.
By assuming zero land cost and zero labor cost, we can get a more accurate estimate of the cost of building a solar power plant.
Here is a breakdown of the costs involved in building a 100-Megawatt monocrystalline PV solar power plant in Botswana with zero land cost and zero labor cost:
Solar panels: $40 million
Inverters: $10 million
Electrical infrastructure: $10 million
Total: $60 million
Then an estimated $40 million is added to meet the cost of labor and land to make the gross total $100 million.
It is important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual cost of building a solar power plant may vary depending on a number of factors.
However, this estimate provides a good starting point for understanding the costs involved in building a solar power plant
Each Megawatt capacity shall generate in Kgalagadi District (-25.50°, 21.47°) about two GWh per year with Ground-mounted large scale System
With a selling rate of $0.08 per KWh a 100 Megawatt plant would generate revenues of about $16 million annually
Therefore, after adding a total of $40 million for labor and land costs then total cost of 100 Megawatt monocrystalline PV solar power plant in Botswana would be recovered in 6.25 years plus say 2.75 years for the cost of finance.
This will make the total period of building this with zero finance from the Government is 9 years only and the plant would be transferred and operational for 30 years at very low cost
The following figures show the average selling rate of per kWh in SADC countries in 2022 in US cents: Angola 9.4, Botswana 15.1, Democratic Republic of the Congo 12.2, Lesotho 16.3, Malawi 14.1, Mozambique 9.9, Namibia 20.6, South Africa 19.7, Swaziland 16.6, Tanzania 13.5, Zambia 14.9, Zimbabwe 11.8. The average in the 12 countries is 14.5 US cents for kWh. A price of selling electricity at 8 US cents is very affordable for all countries and even could be 10 kWh.
The following figures show the total electricity consumption in SADC countries in 2022 per country in TWh: Angola 21.1, Botswana 4.4, Democratic Republic of the Congo 112.5, Lesotho 1.1, Malawi 2.5, Mozambique 14.4, Namibia 2.1, South Africa 247.9, Swaziland 0.4, Tanzania 12.7, Zambia 17.5, Zimbabwe 10.3
The total electricity consumption in SADC countries in 2022 was 440.2 terawatt-hours (TWh). This represents an increase of 3.5% from 2021. It is expected to rise by 5% annually.
Botswana Electricity River BER, Botswana Does Not Need Mining at Current Prices
There are two regions in Africa blessed with highest solar irradiation and huge potentials of generating clean electricity at low cost. It is like endless rainwater to collect freely, sell locally and export.
The first region includes parts of Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Chad and Niger. This region is capable of providing all Europe with all its huge electricity demands at lower price, fixed rate, stable clean energy.
The second region includes parts of Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. This region is capable of providing all African countries south of the Equator with all its huge electricity demands at lower price, fixed rate, stable clean energy.
Botswana Electricity River BER. Generating electricity in Botswana to supply clean low-cost stable electricity. 10,000 km Power Lines connecting Botswana with 13 countries. Let me participate as a consultant or adviser in making this great project
The cost of generating one KWh from photovoltaic PV power stations in these two regions only is $0.03 and is higher in countries with low solar irradiation that makes generating electricity from PV solar energy unfeasible.
If the North African region can meet only half of the electricity demands in Europe this shall generate a net profit of 150 billion Euro/ annually
Within three years, it is possible to make a river in which electricity, produced from the Sun free of charge, shall flow at a volume of one thousand five hundred terawatts annually.
Making a river of solar electricity will not cost any state a single dollar. Rather, the states will get licensing and concessions fees from building financiers, estimated at a quarter of the revenues, for a period of eight years in which the cost of building is recovered with generous profit, and then states will get full revenue
This river feeds and pumps resources to the producing country or countries in Africa at the rate of one hundred and fifty billion euros annually if it served half of Europe’s needs
Gigantic Solar Energy is the Future, Do NOT Hesitate or Waste Time. In oil, gas and gold mining the first lengthy and expensive steps are exploration, design, digging and building, but in solar energy, it is just a simple process of collecting natural wealth, like harvesting rainwaters.
Solar energy is a clean product, sustainable project, safe and more profitable and needed more than metal mining and fossil fuels. The project adds huge side benefits and profits from attracting industries, providing job opportunities, revenues from raw materials, and lowering local prices for products. Create a destination for energy intensive manufacturing and benefit from the transfer of foreign technologies and expertise.
Making a river of solar electricity will not cost any state a single dollar. Rather, the states will get 25% of profits for licensing and concessions fees for eight years from building financiers, in which the cost of building is fully recovered plus generous profit 75% of the cost. Then states will get the full profits.
I am an Egyptian civil engineer, resident in Alexandria, Egypt. I am very keen to promote and get involved as a consultant or adviser in the production of electricity from PV solar energy in Algeria to export to Europe and in Botswana to export in Africa.
The sky is raining gold every day and the rain is wasted because it is not collected. States waste their resources on expensive fuels and pollute their environment by dirty energy generation methods.
I believe that Botswana has the potential to become a major exporter of clean electricity in the region. Botswana certainly has the links, resources and the location to make this great project a reality and develop its people and economy very fast.
Engineer/ Tarig Anter, Alexandria, Egypt