Renewable energy for power security
President Hifikepunye Pohamba said this week, Namibia must take advantage of the development in the renewable energy sector to promote security of power supply.
The Polytechnic of Namibia through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute (REEEI) in collaboration with various partners is doing research on a so-called Concentrated Solar Power Project. The ultimate aim is to increase the share of electricity generated from dedicated solar installations.
“In the National Integrated Resource Plan of Namibia, it is identified that 44mW of energy has to come from Wind and 50mW is earmarked as a key output for Concentrated Solar Power by 2017/2018 as a base load. This can then also cater for Namibia’s peak demand. It will also benefit the country in terms of reducing green house gas emissions as they are regarded as clean technologies,” said Helvi Ileka, the Energy Shop Project Coordinator at REEEI.
She said although more than 20 sites were identified as potential sites to construct solar power plants, only Gerus, Kokerboom, Hochland, Skorpion Mine and Auasnek were recommended as the top five sites.
She also said that the Ministry of Mines and Energy contributed 220,000, and the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) another of 140,000 towards the pre-feasibility study for the Concentrated Solar Power Plant.
“A total of US$2,588,000 was contributed for the implementation of the project by partners who include the Global Environmental Facility, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Polytechnic of Namibia,” Ileka added.
The detailed feasibility study for the project has been approved in December 2012. According to Ileka, the recruitment for the commencement of this project is also in process.
“The concept taken by Namibia in these two projects [The Concentrated Solar Power Project and The National Wind Resource Assessment Project] is unique compared to other African countries. We believe these are good practices that can be shared with other countries in order for the whole of Africa to move towards a greener continent,” she said.