WINDHOEK - The country’s national power utility, NamPower, this week revealed that it will construct four renewable energy power plants over the next five years at an estimated cost of N$4.7 billion. The revelation was made on Wednesday by NamPower’s Managing Director, Kahenge Haulofu, during the launch of the corporation’s new corporate strategy and business plan covering the years 2019 to 2023.
According to the Bloomberg news agency, the plants, which will harness biomass, solar and wind, will generate a combined 220 megawatts in a bid to offset about 60 percent of electricity imports and to reduce fossil fuel reliance.
According to Haulofu, construction will start later this year and is expected to be completed by 2022. The project will be financed through internal resources.
“Namibia stands to benefit as the worldwide boom in solar markets result in reduced costs and improved efficiency of solar photovoltaic panels and related equipment,” Haulofu said.
The NamPower MD continued that the new strategy and business plan are aligned to the country’s national policies. These policies include Namibia becoming energy secure and aiming to become a net electricity exporter by 2030 by leveraging renewable resources, that 70 percent or more electricity installed capacity in Namibia should be from renewable sources by 2030. It also indicates that local electricity generation capacity should be increased to 755MW by 2021/22, and that the national electrification rate be increased to 50 percent by 2021/22.
President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan also stipulates that locally generated electricity capacity should increase from 400MW in 2015 to 600MW by 2020, that all schools and health facilities will have access to electricity by 2020, and that rural electrification will increase from 34 percent in 2015 to 50 percent by 2020.
Also speaking at the launch of the new corporate strategy, NamPower board chairperson Kaunapaua Ndilula emphasised that the reliable supply of electricity remains of utmost importance.
“Security of supply remains our priority and the new strategy is geared to ensuring reliable supply of power, whilst improving local generation capacity. NamPower also ensured that the new strategic plan is responsive to the imminent transition in the energy sector. With the shift towards a Modified Single-Buyer Market Model, an increased number of market participants is envisaged, which will significantly increase market complexity. Thus, in our effort to remain relevant, our strategic plan embraces partnership, innovation and market responsiveness,” said Ndilula. – Additional reporting by Bloomberg