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Terminal Evaluation of PIMS 1771 CC FSP: Renewable Energy Rural Electrification (Solar PV)
Commissioning Unit: Botswana
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2014
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 08/2014
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Botswana
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: 1.1 Appropriate planning framework: An Electrification Master Plan that sets out clear timeframes and connection rates for both grid- and non-grid electrification needs to be developed and championed by the government. The absence of such a plan closes down the space for private sector participation and considerably increases the costs and risks for all involved (including public sector players). Given the current drive for universal access to modern energy by 2030 as part of the UN?s ?Sustainable Energy for All? initiative, this is clearly the right time to create such plans and should be a required ?first-step? for any electrification initiative.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The draft Energy Policy as well as Draft Climate Change Policies were developed as an effort to establish an enabling environment for renewable energy promotion and private sector participation. The policies specifically provide for re-fits and feeding tariffs into the grid. The recommended Electrification Master Plan will derive force from the Draft Energy Bill.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Draft Energy Policy Draft Climate Change Response Policy
[Added: 2016/01/12]
Environment and Climate Change Unit No due date No deadline established awaiting approvals by Parliament
2. Recommendation: Future Programme Design Appropriate policy framework o The MMEWR/EAD needs to make a policy distinction between grid-connected and off-grid RETs. Much of the expressed commitment to RETs within the context of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, climate change etc. is actually a reference to large-scale, grid-connected RETs and not to off-grid SHSs. The level of commitment to both of these types of RET needs to be clarified going forward if there is to be any prospect of a vibrant off-grid programme in Botswana (or anywhere else, for that matter). o Long, loud and legal : A phrase becoming increasingly popular to describe the key characteristics of an effective policy ? particularly one hoping to attract private sector investment. Such a policy would offer sufficient incentives to the private sector, offer sufficient timeframes for returns and provide a strong regulatory framework. This is the direction that the MMEWR/EAD would have to take if they were to underpin a strong and effective off-grid programme. o Technical standards need to be established as soon as possible. If the GoB is subsidizing costs of SHSs, then systems must comply with an acceptable technical standard to ensure consistency, performance and value for money. It would probably be more efficient to review existing specifications (e.g. from South Africa or organizations such as Lighting Global ) than to develop these from scratch. o Energy and development policies need to be clearly linked with the above-mentioned ?electrification master plan?; the electrification plan needs to be shaped by the energy policy, both in terms of its timeframes and energy technology choices. If, for example, a target of universal access to electricity (grid or off-grid) is set for a future date (e.g. 2030), the electrification plan should set out concrete steps for achieving this target. The establishment of a ?Renewable energy agency? was mentioned by the EAD on a number of occasions, and as such it is a development that this evaluation strongly recommends. If the agency should incorporate a strong off-grid component, then it could have a very important impact on the future of Botswana?s off-grid, rural electrification prospects. On the other hand, should the distinction between grid-connected and off-grid RETs remain imprecise, then the agency?s impact (on rural electrification) will be negligible as it will in all likelihood retain a strong grid-connected focus. It should, therefore, not only have a strong off-grid mandate, but also a clear vision and mission as well as well-defined roles and responsibilities.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

The Renewable energy agency will be established under the policy. Other recommendations noted herein as addressed as part of the above response.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Establishment of a Renewable energy agency
[Added: 2016/01/12]
Government with support from UNDP No due date No deadline established awaiting approval of Policy by Government for next steps
3. Recommendation: Future Programme Design Rural electrification programme design o There are a number of delivery models available for off-grid, rural electrification (franchise, concession etc.), all with specific advantages and disadvantages given the context and needs of the programme. Whichever model is chosen, it is very important that it is fully developed as part of the programme design. The choice of model should furthermore be informed by rigorous comparative research and analysis to minimise risks and ensure the selection and design of the most appropriate model. It is furthermore recommended that any rural electrification programme allows for adjustment of the model throughout the programme?s implementation period, to ensure that it is able to respond to changing conditions and demands. o There should be a clearly defined roll-out plan, with timeframes, required connections and resources available for each phase set out. o The programme should clearly set out the subsidy levels available, as well as whether these are capital and/or operational subsidies. o The funding mechanism to be used should be clearly defined and must speak to the objectives and requirements of the programme. E.g. an electrification programme focused on developing the rural market will most probably be best served by an output- or results-based funding mechanism. This is also where M&E can play an essential role, through the auditing and verification of results for payment purposes; in fact, it is one of the surest way of ensuring that M&E results feed back into program design and performance. o Related to the above, it is necessary to clarify the role of the private sector within such a programme. The private sector can play an important role but an appropriate framework needs to be developed which meets the needs of both the GoB and the private sector. Appropriate funding mechanisms will be key. Again, much effort has been invested in the South African off-grid programme and this should provide an efficient learning base or foundation to achieving similar objectives in Botswana. o The tender/procurement evaluation process to be used must be transparent, well-defined and agreed on by the parties involved. The process should seek downstream value for the Botswana solar PV industry. Procurement opportunities can catalyse local industries but such expectations need to be closely managed. They cannot be at the expense of the electrification programme so, for instance, ?local content? expectations should be incremental, ensuring a more significant procurement and service opportunity for the local industry over time. o It is essential that the roles and responsibilities of project management/implementation partners (e.g. IA, EA and UNDP) are clearly defined and agreed upon beforehand. Everyone should know who has overall coordination responsibility, who implements which project elements, who is responsible for funding etc. Moreover, there need to be contingency mechanisms in place that allow for quick adjustments in roles/responsibilities as needed (e.g. in case a project manager cannot be found), as well as a clear exit strategy in the case of severe programme problems
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The draft Energy Policy as well as Draft Climate Change Policies were developed as an effort to establish an enabling environment for renewable energy promotion and private sector participation. The policies specifically provide for re-fits and feeding tariffs into the grid. The recommended Electrification Master Plan will derive force from the Draft Energy Bill.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Draft Energy Policy Draft Climate Change Response Policy
[Added: 2016/01/12]
Government No due date No deadline established The timelines for Policy approvals are out of UNDP influence
4. Recommendation: Future Programme Design Develop detailed Operational Framework o The rural electrification programme should contain a detailed roll-out plan ? based on the already-mentioned electrification master plan. o Where the programme requires significant private sector participation, it is recommended that provision is made for the development of detailed business plans as an essential programme participation prerequisite. o There should be clarity on the finance available for the programme, with written commitments from all relevant decision-makers on the inclusion of these resources in operational budgets and budget frameworks
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The recommended Electrification Master Plan will derive force from the Draft Energy Bill

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No specific action planned until the legislation is passed
[Added: 2016/01/12]
Government with support from UNDP No due date No deadline established
5. Recommendation: RERE Programme legacy As part of the RERE programme?s legacy, there are currently more than 300 solar home systems sitting in a warehouse, as well as a non-operating mini-grid in Sekhutlane village. While not necessarily falling within the scope of this evaluation, the evaluator sees it as necessary that a recommendation regarding the utilization of this hardware be made. The mini-grid generation infrastructure, as well as the solar home systems, should be used to provide electricity to an unelectrified rural village. The village should be identified with the help of the Electrification Planning Department and BPC, to ensure that it will not be grid-electrified in the near-future (providing an operational period of at least 5 years). The mini-grid infrastructure can be used to provide power to public facilities (e.g. clinic, school, government office), households within a certain distance from the grid, productive use applications (e.g. water pumping for large-scale irrigation) and, where possible, commercial users. The mini-grid system may also be used to hybridise an existing diesel-based mini-grid, thus lowering the running costs. This should be regarded as the backbone infrastructure. The solar home systems should then be deployed to more distributed households beyond a certain distance from the grid. The system design is one where a more established backbone provides services to higher-load consumers and ensures the benefits are fairly evenly distributed in terms of improved public services for all, while the service on the periphery is more basic SHS providing small amounts of electricity to support lighting, communications and entertainment applications.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The recommended Electrification Master Plan will derive force from the Draft Energy Bill

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
No specific action planned until the legislation is passed
[Added: 2016/01/12]
Government with support from UNDP No due date No deadline established

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