Botswana's Coal: Dead in the Water or Economic Game Changer?

Botswana possesses substantial coal deposits of 212 billion tonnes, the majority of which are low grade. Under favourable conditions, and until solar power becomes a feasible option for supplying baseload electricity, this coal could be either exported or used for local regional electricity production and consumption. Electricity shortages impose a considerable constraint on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.This strengthens the argument for local production of coal-fired electricity. However, coal extraction for either export or local production is environmentally costly despite advances in technology.