Namibia: Low Rainfall Hampers Power Generation

14 January 2020

Local electricity generation decreased last year mainly as a result of inadequate water inflow into the Ruacana hydropower plant. This was due to poor rainfall received between January and March 2019 in both northern Namibia and southern Angola, compared to the same period in 2018.

The hydropower plant requires consistent supply of large volumes of water to operate at optimal levels. The local generation of electricity decreased by 24.2 percent, year-on-year, to 207.1 million kilowatt-hours. The Bank of Namibia in a recent report also stated the data for imports and total generation of local electricity over the last year has increased by 11.6 percent year-on-year, while rising by 22.8 percent quarter-on-quarter. "On a quarterly basis, the local generation of electricity decreased by 42.8 percent. The seasonally adjusted local electricity generation, however, registered an increase of 23.6 percent during the same period, off a low base in the second quarter. The total units of electricity sold decreased slightly year-on-year, during the period under review. The units of electricity sold decreased by 1.7 percent, year-on-year, while it increased marginally by 0.7 percent, quarter-on-quarter, during the third quarter of 2019," the bank said.

The yearly decrease in the sales was in tandem with decreased power demand by the mining and agriculture sectors. Total fuel consumption increased both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter during the third quarter of 2019. Data wise, total fuel consumption increased substantially by 39.0 percent year on year to 300.4 million litres during the quarter under review.

"The year on year increase was ascribed to the diesel consumption that went up by 82.6 percent. On the contrary, the consumption of petrol decreased by 3.3 percent during the period under review. The year on year increase in diesel consumption reflects partly higher electricity production from the local diesel-run power plant, compared to the same period of 2019," the bank noted.

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