Clean Energy Research Centre contributed to Botswana’s virtual Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) festival and the National Science Week held at the beginning of October by showcasing the SOLTRAIN trailer, introducing SOLTRAIN and highlighting the benefits of solar thermal systems on energy supply, poverty alleviation, job creation and CO2 emission reduction. The demonstration of the trailer was done by our Senior Project Technician, Mr Mike Lethapa.
This is in line with the Botswana Government’s national targets of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix in 2030 in order to reduce dependency on the grid power and meet the increasing demand. The Government has committed to achieve an overall emissions reduction of 15% by 2030.
The objectives of the two events were to allow public institutions and industry to showcase their STEM niches on which their businesses leverage as they contribute to national socioeconomic upliftment. The five-day event was honored by the Botswana International University of Science & Technology Chancellor and former President H.E. Dr Festus G. Mogae, Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science & Technology Hon. Dr Douglas Letsholathebe and many other distinguished guests. More than 5 000 stakeholders, among them pupils, students, academia, businesses, community, captains of industry, local authorities, media and the public converged online to celebrate these two events.
One of the STEM benefits is to encourage the students to be innovative and to prepare them for college through STEM education, and to promote creativity, leadership, decision-making, acceptance of failure, critical thinking and problem-solving, and through SOLTRAIN, the students can also develop projects involving solar thermal technology.
SOLTRAIN objectives are in line with the Botswana Government national targets of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix in the coming years in order to reduce dependency on the grid power and meet the increasing demand. The Government has committed to achieving an overall emissions reduction of 15% by 2030, with SOLTRAIN well placed to contribute significantly to this goal. SOLTRAIN’s activities aligned with the recently approved Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) which envisages the contribution of renewable energy at close to 20% of Botswana’s electricity generation mix, thus exceeding the target of 15% by 2030.