Financiers are increasingly having an appetite to fund renewable projects than coal powered ones, an official has revealed.
Fieldstone Africa Managing Director Jonathan Berman said there are emerging changes in the energy industry where investment in the renewable energy has been fast in the last couple of years.
Berman said the energy industry is moving away from the large centralised traditional coal and hydropower utility model towards renewable energy. Berman said funding for coal projects have also gone down as funders are shifting towards funding renewable energy industry.
“It is increasingly hard to secure funding for coal projects and the volume of funding available for coal projects is low these days and that’s the reality,” said Berman. He said there is plenty of solar resource in Botswana and urged players to tap into this opportunity.
“There is a huge opportunity for Botswana to utilise the solar resource to generate energy and the equipment is getting cheaper and that’s why tariffs are falling in Southern Africa,” he said.
He added that cost effective storage system and conventional energy storage techniques were also emerging to ensure that renewable energy could be stored efficiently.
Botswana has abundant solar energy resources, receiving over 3,200 hours of sunshine per year with an average insulation on a horizontal surface of 21MJ/m2, one of the highest rates of insulation in the world.
Installing solar equipment may be expensive but once installed, will guarantee power to the owner for a long time for almost free as long as the system is sized accordingly.
Despite the emerging trend in the industry, Berman said they still work in coal projects but they recognise the direction that the industry is taking.