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Recent News and Developments

  • August 2008: The RE-Botswana Renewable Energy-based Rural Electrification project is a collaborative project between the Government of Botswana, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with Botswana Power Corporation as the implementing agency. The programme aims to remove barriers to the utilization of renewable and clean energy in Botswana. A key output of this strategy is to develop BPC Lesedi, a rural energy services company, for the commercial provision of basic energy services including solar electricity and efficient cooking appliances. The efficient cooking appliances will be offered to an estimated 50,000 rural households. In some cases they will be combined with a small solar electric system as part of an affordable energy package designed to meet the basic energy needs of the rural customer. The following two efficient cooking appliances will be offered:
  • Efficient wood stove - being a low cost free-standing wood burning stove for outdoor use for cooking and heating of water. The stove must reduce the amount of wood consumption for cooking and heating of water compared to a traditional open fire by at least 50%.
  • Hot Bag - being a thermally insulated bag or portable container designed to retain the heat of cooked food or hot water. Typically, a cooking pot is taken directly from the fire or stove and placed in the bag. The insulation of the bag maintains the temperature of the pot which for some foods is sufficient to complete the cooking process. Using the retained heat in this way can reduce the amount of wood fuel required.
The RE-Botswana project, in collaboration with the Botswana Power Corporation is in the process of identifying companies interested in the Supply and/or Design and Manufacturing of Efficient Wood Stoves and Hot Bags for Rural Households."
You can read more, and find contact details here: http://www.hedon.info/1209/news.htm

The History of Solar Cooking in Botswana

At the world meeting held under UNESCO auspices in Varese, Italy, a representative of the Botswana Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs was present to make a presentation, describing that government's plans for a National Solar Cooking Programme. In this country, fuelwood is the dominant household energy source in rural areas. While originally it was considered as a "free" commodity, increasingly people need to purchase wood that is ever more scare and expensive. According to R. Fagbenle, Director of Energy Affairs in the Ministry, woody biomass supplies 70% of the country's energy, almost entirely fuelwood for cooking. Less fuelwood is used in the urban area. The nation is increasingly aware of the problem of deforestation, which requires people to travel farther and farther to locate fuel sources.

The solar cooking program planned to begin with a pilot program involving two communities, one urban, one rural. The overall objectives of the program were ambitious, including the distribution of 550,000 cookers over four years. To date, no information has been located on the success, or indeed the implementation, of the program.

[Information for this section was taken originally from State of the Art of Solar Cooking by Dr. Barbara Knudson]

Climate, Culture, and Special Considerations

In this country, fuelwood is the dominant household energy source in rural areas. While originally it was considered as a "free" commodity, increasingly people need to purchase wood that is ever more scare and expensive. According to R. Fagbenle, Director of Energy Affairs in the Ministry, woody biomass supplies 70% of the country's energy, almost entirely fuelwood for cooking. Less fuelwood is used in the urban area. The nation is increasingly aware of the problem of deforestation, which requires people to travel farther and farther to locate fuel sources.[1]

See also

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