WINDHOEK - The Ministry of Mines and Energy is planning to install an additional 220MW of electricity within the next three years to ensure national development targets and other national goals can be met.
This new capacity does not include private initiatives such as roof-top installations by regional electricity distributors, private companies and individuals. Making the announcement on Friday, Mines and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo, said of 220MW, 150 MW will be allocated to NamPower and 70MW will be allocated to independent power producers for implementation through a competitive bidding process. The technology split for the 70MW will be 20 MW for solar and 50MW for wind. “I believe that a country with adequate power supply attracts investors and other subsequent benefits are guaranteed. These projects mentioned will go a long way in moving Namibia to being secure for the benefit of all Namibians,” said Alweendo.
“Furthermore, by diversifying our mix of electricity resources to include renewables, the country will benefit from a least cost supply mix.”
The announcement comes at a time when Namibia continues to import a large share of its electricity from neighbouring countries. In 2017, only 41 percent of the country’s energy demand was generated locally and the 59 percent shortfall was bused in from across the borders.
“While we appreciated and continue to foster strong relationships with our neighbours, who have thus far supplied our shortfall consistently, over-reliance on imports of a strategic resource such as electricity poses a serious risk to our economy,” Alweendo told journalists.
“Electricity is a vehicle for development and frankly, without electricity economic growth and development in our modern age is severely hindered.”
As at September this year, Namibia’s maximum power demand stood at 652MW while the country has an installed electrical generation capacity of 557MW. However, Alweendo noted that the available capacity is only 467MW due to the aging Van Eck power station which is capable of only delivering 30MW.