Minimizing Energy Losses: Botswana Increases Efficiency for Distribution Transformers

In an effort to reduce energy wastage and maximize efficiency, the Government of Botswana has recently adopted minimum energy performance standards for distribution transformers.

Lisa Kahuthu

Botswana has one of the highest electrification rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with 77% of urban and 37% of rural areas electrified. The Government of Botswana aims to achieve 100% electrification by 2030, which could strain the national grid and supply. CLASP supported the government to leapfrog to energy-efficient high-impact appliances – including distribution transformers.

Distribution transformers play a crucial role in supplying power to homes and businesses.

Transformers lower electricity voltage transmitted through power lines to ensure customers receive appropriate voltage for everyday use. However, energy loss during this process is common, and poorly designed transformers can result in substantial financial burdens for consumers and distribution companies. Recent research indicates that transformers in Botswana contribute to approximately 30% of distribution losses.

Over the past two years, CLASP supported the UN Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) to implement the “National Framework for Leapfrogging to Energy Efficient Appliances and Equipment in Botswana[1],” project.[2] The initiative, funded by the Green Climate Fund, aims to facilitate Botswana’s transition towards more efficient appliances and electrical equipment.

Public consultation workshop in Botswana with stakeholders involved in the development of the MEPS.

Under the project, the Government of Botswana has recently approved the adoption of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for distribution transformers. This milestone represents a significant stride towards reducing energy wastage and maximizing efficiency in Botswana’s market, benefiting households and businesses alike.

“The adoption and implementation of these standards will revolutionize Botswana’s energy landscape, ensuring greater efficiency and cost savings for all stakeholders involved,” said Mr. Ayob Serema from the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS).

The MEPS are expected to be published in June 2023. Once published, they will be made available to the public for purchase, enabling the industry to implement the standards and procure only energy-efficient transformers.

References & Footnotes:

[1] (Refrigerators and Distribution Transformers) through regulatory and financing mechanisms.






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