10 September 2018

Namibia: Alweendo Praises Solar Energy Growth

Minister of mines and energy Tom Alweendo has reiterated the government's commitment to supporting renewable energy technologies and its uses to complement conventional energy sources.

The minister made these remarks during the inauguration of a five megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Otjiwarongo, constructed by SunEQ Four and its local partner, the Hungileni Investment Group, on Friday.

The PV plant will supply electricity to the Ohorongo Cement manufacturing plant.

Alweendo said the ministry in 2017 finalised both the national energy policy and the renewable energy policy to clearly signal the government's commitment to a sustainable energised future for its people.

"Mitigating our collective environmental impact and looking to more sustainable sources of power to ensure sufficient capacity and security of supply for the country is a national imperative, and we must be resolute in exploring viable alternative sources of electricity generation," he added.

The minister emphasised that the country needs the private sector, and welcomes the active participation of organisations such as Ohorongo Cement, SunEQ Four, and the Hungileni Investment Group, who developed the power plant.

"In supporting private sector investments, we are indeed cognisant of the fact that government alone cannot shoulder the immense investment required for the development of the country's energy infrastructure."

Alweendo further noted that solar electricity generation is a growing industry that has long-term sustainability, and also serves as an attractive alternative as it is free and clean.

"Namibia's solar electric generation has in fact grown exponentially since the inception of the renewable energy feed-in tariff programme in 2014.

Its contribution to the grid has enabled NamPower and the Electricity Control Board to study and consider whether more PV generation can be accommodated," he added.

The plant is expected to employ additional personnel to maintain it.

- Nampa

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