Solar array brings UN electricity bill down by N$60,000 per month
The United Nation’s campus in Klein Windhoek this week joined the growing number of organisations that use their often large rooftops to install an array of solar panels.
If the current savings trend continues, coupled with the current effort to monitor power usage around UN House, savings of at least 60% can be achieved. Over time, this will amount to a substantial amount of money which can then be implemented in the UN’s programmes instead of being burned as electricity.
Officially launched on Wednesday, the solar installation is one of many initiatives the UN in Namibia plans to implement in line with Greening the Blue, the motto for the UN’s journey to achieve climate neutrality, reduce its carbon footprint and promote an environmentally-friendly office.
Complementing the solar battery, UN Namibia is installing low-energy light bulbs in UN House to maximize electricity savings parallel to its recycling system. In the medium term, UN Namibia will strengthen water conservation by using grey water for gardening.
“The UN Namibia family will endeavor to create a more mindful and sustainable office environment and calls upon its partners to join hands and emulate similar programmes in their offices” said Resident Coordinator Kiki Gbeho when she welcomed the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Kornelia Shilunga and the Deputy Mayor of Windhoek, Her Worship Fransina Kahungu.
“The UN’s move to use solar energy is an opportunity to showcase best practice in the use of renewable energy in support of Namibian and global efforts to combat climate change” said Gbeho adding that the recently agreed Sustainable Development Agenda identifies clean energy as an integral part of the global strategy to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
“Specifically, Goal 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals speaks to Climate Change while Goal 7,aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” she said.
Since the installation in the beginning of May, power usage at UN House has decreased by approximately 50%, which in monetary terms translates to a total savings of roughly N$60,000 per month, an amount which the City of Windhoek must now forfeit.
On behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Hon. Shilunga emphasized that Namibia is gearing up for a renewable revolution through the National Energy Policy, aligned with the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Namibia Vision 2030. “Namibia is ready to show the world what can be achieved through renewable energy development. Namibia is ready to take its place as a world leader in renewable energy,” she said.
Pictured are the UN Namibia Country Team representatives with the Deputy Mayor of Windhoek, Cllr. Fransina Kahungu, the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho and the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga.