Renewable energy to fight poverty
“All buildings must be optimised towards energy use and they must be built in a way that they do not get hot,” stated Harald Schütt, General Manager of the Renewable Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN) at a recent conference on Sustainable Development to Namibia’s Energy Policy in view of COP21.
He explained that Namibia needs a Renewable Energy in-Feed Tariff (REFIT) that makes it viable to invest in Renewable Energy instead of the cheapest offer. “Producers must be invited and encouraged rather than frustrated by complicated and lengthy negotiations and there should be a clear commitment from the government to have 100% renewable energy,” he added.
He advised that the new role of NamPower should be defined and implemented, which is to manage supply and demand on a national level and to manage transition form Namibia as an importing country to a power exporting country. “We should earn income from selling Namibian renewable energy power to others, not by buying from them and selling with a mark-up to Namibians,” said Schütt.
He emphasized that the country is at a crossroads and that it is imperative that Namibians do not pay for the same mistakes that the old industrialized economies did, “meaning we must not try to install a centralized, fossil-based electricity supply system nationwide, which is even more problematic here than elsewhere because of our low population density and widespread poverty,” he stated. “Or we smell the coffee and learn from new developments that our previous colonizers paid for dearly, meaning we opt for a de-centralised, renewables-based concept, that will produce electricity where we need it and keep the money circulating among Namibians,” he added.
He reiterated that the money should not be taken out of Namibia which will benefit a few people and finance development elsewhere. “With Renewable Energy, the majority wins and we can win the war on poverty,” he concluded.