New Geothermal Energy Source for Botswana

Kasane Hot Springs Represents a New Geothermal Energy Source for Botswana

One of the Country’s Top Universities Leads New Method to Explore Underground Energy Sources Using Geophysics Modeling Software

Located between two villages at the northwest tip of Botswana is the Kasane Hot Springs, a bubbling reservoir enjoyed by local residents for its spa-like waters. It is rumored that the springs have healing qualities for people who drink from them—although the government of Botswana officially says the mineral waters are not potable.

The springs are also a growing attraction for visitors to nearby Chobe National Park, which is home to diverse wildlife that includes lions, cheetahs, hippopotamuses, and the largest population of elephants in all of Africa.

Aside from the springs’ cultural value to locals and as a point of interest for tourists, Kasane Hot Springs may have another hidden power. Calistus Ramotoroko, a researcher in geophysics at Botswana International University of Science & Technology in Palapye, Botswana, saw the springs’ potential to become a geothermal energy source.

“We [want to] see if it’s possible to assist [Botswana] by using geothermal energy, especially in rural villages, which are far from the city. We’re trying to see any other possibilities other than electricity used by coal,” Ramotoroko said.

In Pursuit of Power

For a country with growing pressure to maximize its energy independence, new energy sources would be welcome, particularly in relatively isolated areas like Kasane and Kazungula, the villages nearest the springs. The country’s energy is distributed by a single utility, the Botswana Power Corporation, which has a network that does not yet extend to many of the country’s rural villages, according to the International Trade Administration.

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