UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) recently hosted a Biogas Conference for national stakeholders as well as stakeholders from the region and internationally to share information, review and exchange ideas on the results of the just ended Biogas Project. The Biogas Project which ran from January 2017 to January 2022 was necessitated by UNDPs mandate of supporting Government of Botswana in reaching energy targets.
When giving keynote address the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Mr. Lefoko Maxwell Moagi explained that it is the Government of Botswana’s vision that the nation has to be: “energy secured, with diversified safe and clean energy sources, and to be a net energy exporter.” He said these are core pillars of the Vision 2036, further articulated within NDP 11 and Sustainable Development Goals that are particularly relevant to the Ministry.
He also explained that the need for Energy, particularly Renewable Energy, is central to power supply in Botswana. He elaborated that lack of sustainable energy affects all sectors of the economy, be it in health, industry, commerce, education delivery and general standards of living.
“We must appreciate the challenges posed by energy provision and address them openly and pragmatically”, Hon Moagi
On his part the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Balazs Horvath noted that; The project was meant to demonstrate an alternative way of increasing renewables in the energy mix as well as managing waste in an effective and efficient manner. He said this has been achieved through support towards development of policy, regulatory and standards to improve compliance to requirements in the environment space, piloting of demonstration sites and development of knowledge products to share and disseminate information widely.
Balazs added in his remarks that the work of the UNDP, is centered around supporting countries to achieve the SDGs through integrated solutions. He said, “In particular, and for the BIOGAS project we support attainment of SDG 7 which speaks of affording clean and renewable energy to all, and SDG 13 which highlights the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.
He also explained that, “Achieving the SDGs requires partnership between the governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations. This remains a key activity for UNDP as continue to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal Road Map for Botswana”.
He added that through initiatives targeted at transitioning towards the phase-out of coal, curtailing deforestation, speeding up the switch to electric vehicles and encouragement of investment in renewables- these goals are possible, even for Botswana. Balazs reaffirmed UNDPs commitment to support the government of Botswana, the relevant ministries as they work towards achievement of these goals.
“The Covid19 pandemic has been a huge challenge the world over and continues to cause devastation around the world. However, as our population continues to receive more and more vaccines, as the death rate reduces and as we slowly recover from the pandemic, I am looking forward to building forward much better, cleaner and greener than ever before”, Balazs.
BIOGAS PROJECT ACHIEVEMENTS.
1. Development of Biogas Standards
2. Development of Biofuel Standards
3. Upgrade of Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT)
4. Development of Integrated Waste Management Bill (IWMB)
5. Training of 70 small-scale digester masons
6. Construction of 200 small-scale digesters
7. Capacitation of 16 trainers on biogas construction in 6 vocational training centres (VTCs)
8. Development of curriculum for training of biogas digester masons
9. Development of feasibility study report for medium scale digester for Botswana Meat Commission
10. Development of Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for Botswana Meat Commission
11. Undertaking of Wastepaper Recovery Pilot Study at the Government Enclave
12. Undertaking of Wastewater Pilot Study from 6 selected industries
13. Development of knowledge management products for biogas technology
14. Development of Biogas Innovative Data Collection Pilot