Renewable energy way to go – expert

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 10 May 2016   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Dominic Milazi Dominic Milazi

There is an opportunity in embedded renewables that if highly explored can help address energy challenges within the region, an industrial research expert has said. Speaking at a public seminar organised by Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) on Monday evening, Dominic Milazi - a research group leader for Energy Market Design and Policy Analysis at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – said embedded renewables offers more advantages than forms of power generation.

With the SADC region faced with power constraints resulting in load shedding, Milazi said the time is ripe for serious consideration for renewable energy as an alternative for power generation, as the method is not only cheaper, but provides other benefits such as job creation. ith other resources such as coal being given thumbs down as a preferred energy producer, and conservationist advocating for the clean energy, the Monday seminar which was attended by the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Dikagiso Mokotedi gave renewed hope that renewable energy is the way to go.

Mokotedi as well agreed that renewable energy is the only way forward, and for  Botswana he said that would not be a challenge as the country has natural resources that can be used to address local present and future energy needs. The use of ‘dirty’ minerals such a coal for energy production is set to decline in the coming years with pressure groups also launching campaigns to discourage the use of such minerals. And energy generation options are now being narrowed to renewables.

Milazi said since 2012 more wind and solar capacity are added each year globally than net coal and gas capacity. He said with SADC facing energy constraints embedded photovoltaic – a method used to convert solar into direct current electricity can be used to address such challenges in three ways. First because it is cheap with less cost, secondly it is fast and lastly it is capable of producing quantity of electricity capable of producing 500 to 1000 Megawatts per year.