Namibia: Nine Renewable Energy Projects Connected to Grid

The government through the Interim renewable energy feed-in tariff project, has managed to connect nine of the 14 projects to the national electricity grid.

The interim renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) projects managed to feed a total of 93 giga-watt of electricity into the national grid in 2017.

Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo said this is a clear testimony of an important milestone of an electricity supply industry (ESI) that is undergoing change in Namibia.

He was speaking at Rosh Pinah during the official opening and inauguration of Aloe Investments' 5 megawatt solar PV power plant, saying it was one of the 14 REFIT plants on the programme.

"The REFIT programme was initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Electricity Control Board and NamPower in 2015, with the intention to reduce our electricity imports and attract private investment in the development of renewable energy resources in Namibia," Alweendo said.

He stressed that energy remains the number one key input for development, thus government recognises it in both the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fifth National Development Plan as a priority infrastructure area needed for the nation's socio-economic growth and development.

"With the HPP action plan, we have committed ourselves to increasing the local electricity generating capacity from 400 to 600 MW and the rate of rural electrification from 34% to 50% by 2020. It is therefore important that we continue to proactively plan, structure, manage and develop an energy sector that can optimally support and respond to our development aspirations today, and in the future," he said.

Moreover, Alweendo revealed that his ministry had finalised the national energy policy and national renewable energy policy, hoping to give a clear indication that government is committed to a sustainable energised future for Namibians.

"We are also cognisant of the fact that the government alone cannot shoulder the immense investment required for the development of the country's energy infrastructure. We need the private sector, and we explicitly welcome the active participation of private sector actors, such as Aloe Investments, who have realised this power plant here at Rosh Pinah," Alweendo added.

He said as the country moves towards Vision 2030, it must continue to use local available resources for the benefit of all Namibians, saying the country has one of the world's best solar resources, and a significant amount of biomass and plenty of good wind regimes.

"I would therefore like to use to this opportunity to motivate all our stakeholders, more importantly our private partners, to invest in this sector. As the government, we will make sure that we create an enabling environment and with legislative tools such as the national integrated resource plan, the national independent power producer (IPP) policy and with the revised market framework model on the way, rest assured that we are working in accordance with some of the best practices in the world," he said.

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