Shilunga says investing in renewable energy technologies is inevitably the future – 37MW solar power plant inaugurated
The Ministry of Mines and Energy, this week inaugurated a 37MW Hardap solar plant at Mariental, in a move that signalled that the country is embracing renewable energy technologies.
The Mines and Energy Deputy Minister, Kornelius Shilunga said investing in renewable energy technologies is inevitably the future for the world, and in Namibia, especially, given the fact that the country is blessed with abundant solar resources.
“The Hardap Solar PV Power Plant, attests to government’s effort in levelling the playing field and creating investment and competitive opportunities for Independent Power Producers, to contribute to power supply. These initiatives do not only target development spending in the country but play a vital role in the energy sector,” she added.
The plant is forecast to deliver approximately 5% of the annual energy demand and will be connected to the nation grid.
According to Shilunga Namibia imported 73% of its annual electricity requirements last year, which is literally the highest import figure recorded since independence, mainly due to the drought experienced in the region, which affected generation at the Ruacana Power Station, as well as the availability of cheap energy on the Day-Ahead Market.
“Between the years, 1990 to 2009, the average annual imports stood at 48% and between 2010 and 2017, it was 38%, an indication that Namibia’s power is in need of local strengthening to alleviate this dependency on external sources,” she concluded.