15 Apr 2014 06:30am
WINDHOEK, 15 APR (NAMPA) Namibia could be facing a 100 megawatts (MW) electricity deficit by 2015, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics, Natural Resources and Public Administration said.
MP Ben Amadhila made these remarks during the official opening ceremony of a one-day Conference on Renewable Energy Sources in Namibia at parliament here on Monday.
This deficit will further rise to 300MW, should there be no investment in any energy-generation infrastructure.
Amadhila said Namibia depends mainly on the Ruacana Hydro-power Plant for most of the countrys energy needs.
At the moment, Namibia spends about N.dollars1 billion to import electricity from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, he informed the gathering, adding that these countries are also faced with a crisis of meeting the energy demands of their own.
He added that the majority of people are also unable to afford basic services such as electricity and water due to the ever-increasing prices of such services.
Furthermore, many lose their houses to municipalities because of their inability to pay for these basic services.
Unless a deliberate decision is taken, Namibias economy will be negatively affected by electricity shortages, which will have major negative effects on investment, especially in the mining sector, the creation of jobs and Vision 2030 Amadhila stressed.
His committee, therefore, believes that for the countrys potential in renewable energy sources to be exploited more aggressively, investments and market conditions have to be made more attractive, with targeted incentives to attract investments in the electricity supply sector.
Furthermore, the persisting barriers to the development of renewable electricity and the low level of competition in the electricity market imply that there is a need for policy intervention.
The objective of the conference, amongst others, is to afford the Members of Parliament (MPs), as lawmakers the opportunity to share information on the various renewable energy sources, their potential as well as on how Namibia could capitalise on them.
On his part, Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali said his ministry and other stakeholders are currently engaged in the formalisation of procurement mechanisms for renewable energy power plants, especially from independent power producers.
All power plants above 5MW will be procured via public tender. Power-purchase agreements will have to be negotiated with NamPower in this case, he stated.