GRN looks at long-term power solution

Home International GRN looks at long-term power solution


Government says it has robust plans in place to construct short-, medium- and long-term power plants in order to avoid electricity shortages.

This is according to Mines and Energy Minister Obeth Kandjoze, who further stressed that Namibia is a net importer of electricity, importing between 50 percent and 70 percent of its energy needs from the SADC region.

He said the potential for electricity shortages and the concurrent increases in electricity – a key input in driving economic activities – has the potential to further undermine domestic growth prospects.

Among the planned interventions is the continued rural electrification project, using grid-based and off-grid technologies.

Kandjoze said the security of supply of petroleum products is of vital significance to the smooth flow and growth of the national economy for a non-producing country like Namibia.

To that end, he said the construction of the national strategic fuel storage tank farm is envisaged to continue during the current financial year.

The ministry requested N$98,8 million to improve energy supply, as the country’s reliance on electricity imports from the Southern African Power Pool poses a threat to its strategic economic vision and industrialization programme.

He noted that the energy demand-supply balance has evolved, and going forward Namibia can no longer continue to rely on surplus generation from the region.

Kandjoze believes there is an urgent need to respond decisively to the country’s energy constraints in a manner that safeguards the country from energy shortages.

If this is not addressed widely and on a far-reaching scale, it will stifle economic growth, development and will hold back socioeconomic upliftment of the local people.

While acknowledging the challenges being experienced in the sub-region and in particular in Namibia, from the security of electricity supply standpoint, he noted that his ministry and other role players have instituted measures to ensure the country’s electricity supply is secure for the period 2016 to 2019.

He said this would be done through solar photovoltaic power supply projects, wind energy projects from independent power producers and a  diesel power plant, as well as confirmed import supply options.

Namibia currently imports 300 MW from Eskom, between 50 and 100 MW from EDM in Mozambique, 40 MW from Lusemfwa Hydro Power plant in Zambia and 50 MW from ZPC in Zimbabwe.

These power imports offer Namibia a total capacity of 490 MW available from the region at different times of the day. However, it is now quite obvious that to sufficiently meet the local energy needs in the short- to medium-term there is a need to develop an energy mix that takes advantage of all available forms of energy resources, including coal, solar, wind, hydro, gas, or even nuclear energy.