University of Namibia researchers recently evaluated possible opportunities of integrating green hydrogen production to the Benguela Wind Power Project in Lüderitz.
The researchers, professor Daniel Likius, Sesilia Iileka and Pineas Tomas, engaged the Lüderitz Town Council to explore potential applications for green hydrogen energy, and how the consumption of the project could benefit both the community and the researchers.
This project was initiated as a partnership between Unam, the Lüderitz Town Council, and the Benguela community members.
The integration of the Green Hydrogen Energy Project into the Benguela Wind Power Project is to establish the feasibility of the pilot project. Thus, the project will be on a small scale, and will have components of water desalination and an electrolyser. Lüderitz Town Council spokesperson Edwin !Gaoseb said the primary objective of the Benguela wind power project was to collect wind data for further research and development.
“The Benguela Wind Power Project was initiated between 2008 and 2011,” he added.
!Gaoseb said the project has the potential to generate 3.5 kilowatts of electricity and produce a combined 10.5 kilowatts, which is enough to power seven to 10 houses which do not use electrical stoves.
“The main objective of this pilot is to ascertain its viability, and to further find whether the production of green hydrogen energy can be used for horticultural activities,” he noted.
Mushroom cultivation could also be established as an economic activity at the project site, which could inspire business innovation for women and the youth in the area.
“Such products could be used for local consumption and retail sales to food outlets, and in this fashion generate employment and food provision,” he stated.
In addition to the Benguela wind power plant project, Unam is further planning on setting up a pilot plant to produce six megawatts of electricity, and will have four megawatt electrolysers.
“Unam is further desirous in setting up a pilot plant, measuring five hectares of land with sea access, to produce 1 200 kilogrammes of hydrogen per day. The end-goal will be to develop capacity within the value chain and attest the proof of the concept,” !Gaoseb added.
He said the project will be implemented in due time, and ultimately depends on a number of factors, such as data analysis and when the vandalism at the Benguela Wind Power Project site is addressed.
“The theft incident took place in 2020, and has resulted in the project having come to a standstill,” said !Gaoseb.
This discussion of making Luderitz more green, however, has been a project pushed by the community, and will be a first of its kind in Namibia.
This is dating back to 17 August 2022, where local authority councillor Phill Balhao said during a panel discussion at the Namibia Green Hydrogen Conference in Windhoek that the Lüderitz Town Council was ready to give an enabling environment through an investment into infrastructure upgrading for the Green Hydrogen Energy project to become a success story.