According to Namibia’s household national data, there are 235 884 rural households, of which 35 855 are connected to the grid, while 18 324 have access to solar energy, giving rural electrification a rate of 20%.
In efforts to strengthen the renewable energy sector in Namibia with a focus on promoting off-grid electrification in rural areas, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Kornelia Shilunga yesterday launched the Green People’s Energy project under the solar revolving fund (SRF) of the ministry. The Green People’s Energy Namibia is a joint project between the Federal Republic of Germany through GIZ and Namibia.
“The project aims to contribute to universal and sustainable energy access for the people of Namibia. The GIZ has provided financial assistance to the tune of €330 000 to the SRF for the new funding window,” she said.
The SRF is a credit facility with the aim to stimulate demand for the deployment of renewable energy technologies in off-grid areas, especially for communities living in rural areas, but also for urban clients. It offers subsidised loans at a 5% interest rate per annum over five years.
According to Shilunga, the renewable energy technologies that are financed through the SRF countrywide include solar home systems, photovoltaic water pumps, and solar water heaters.
Through the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, the government aims to electrify about 6 000 rural and 13 000 peri-urban households.
Shilunga stated that the new window targets a different range of beneficiaries which include, low-income individuals, rural micro-enterprises and business owners that range from retail shops, bakeries, tailors, carpentries and farmers such as poultry, crop farming and other farming activities.
“Low-income individuals will be financed at maximum funding of up to N$20 000 interest free, farmers will be financed at maximum funding limit of N$60 000, while traders at N$95 000 at 4% interest charges per annum,” she said.
The deputy minister noted that energy and electricity is an engine of economic growth and a key input of production, and as such, limited access compromises the socio-economic development of rural communities.
At the same occasion, Ishuna Amakutsi, deputy director of the SRF stated that since the introduction of the fund in 1996, it was under the private sector until 2010 before the ministry took over in 2011.
Since then, she said the fund availed funding to 4 500 at the tune of N$128 million. She further noted for the 2021/22 financial year, the repayment from clients was at 86%.