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Solar revolving fund shines bright

2022-07-29  Albertina Nakale

Solar revolving fund shines bright

More Namibians have gained access to renewable energy in rural areas where darkness is slowly becoming a thing of the past. 

This happens at the time when the world continues to vigorously embrace renewable energy.

The Solar Revolving Fund has financed 5 051 solar systems amounting to N$144 million between April 2011 to March 2022 countrywide. 

Mines and energy spokesperson Ten Hasheela, who this week provided feedback regarding government’s initiative to assist thousands of needy Namibians without electricity, confirmed this. 

The primary target is to finance the solar home system with a funding limit of up to N$60 000. 

According to the ministry, the photovoltaic pumps were introduced due to farming water demand and are funded to the limit of N$60 000, as well as solar water heaters for urban and rural inhabitants with a funding limit of N$35 000. 

She singled out that the loan recovery rate from beneficiaries for the financial year 2021-2022 stood at 86%. 

In this regard, she said the purpose is to stimulate the economy through the use of renewable energy in areas not covered by grid electrification. 

Equally, the fund serves as an enabler for greater participation of Namibians in the renewable energy sector. 

Although rural electrification is part of the government’s economic development policy to expand the electricity supply infrastructure to rural areas, only a small percentage of Namibia’s rural population has access to electricity. 

Over the years, the government has seen an urgent need for alternative sources of energy to improve access to electricity.

Namibia has some of the highest solar irradiance potentials in Africa. 

According to experts, the country has the potential to capture around 10 hours of strong sunlight per day for 300 days per year. 

To provide and offer affordable renewable energy, the government introduced the Solar Revolving Fund.

It is aimed to stimulate demand for the utilisation of renewable energy technologies in the rural areas, especially for communities living in off-grid areas, but also for urban clients.

The fund was established in 1996, under the Home Power project to address high upfront costs for solar products; dispersed population, and large distances limiting grid electrification. 

“To date, this has been a successful project with a lot of solar beneficiaries with access to renewable energy not just for consumption but also to protect the environment, enhance the security of energy supply and establish a more sustainable energy policy,” she noted. 

Since its inception, the fund was outsourced to various companies until 2010 when the ministry took over the administration of the fund. 

According to the National Energy Policy (2007), the Ministry of Mines and Energy is the sole administrator of the fund. 

Hasheela explained the fund is an element of the off-grid energisation master plan for Namibia whose objective is to provide access to appropriate energy technologies in rural areas. 

The fund operates on an ownership model where individuals obtain loans to purchase renewable energy technology products by obtaining a detailed quotation from an accredited energy service provider to install the technology in their area of choice in Namibia.

Further, Hasheela said the fund focuses on various technologies such as solar home systems, photovoltaic pumps, solar water heaters, and the basket of energy-efficient devices. 

It provides training to accredited renewable energy service providers, enables registration and certification of solar installers, and the standards developed for technicians working on solar home systems, solar water heaters, and photovoltaic pumps through Namibia Energy Institute.  

Moreover, the fund has been assisting consumers by funding renewable energy technologies, both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal. 


2022-07-29  Albertina Nakale

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