30 Oct 2015 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 30 OCT (NAMPA) The development of Namibia will depend on the availability of well-trained and skilled manpower to harness abundantly-available energy resources, a leading academic says.
Speaking during the official opening of the first international renewable energy symposium here on Thursday, Polytechnic of Namibia Rector Tjama Tjivikua said his institution is transforming into a technological university, where the focus is shifting to several postgraduate programmes such as the Master's degree in energy systems.
This is because the successful implementation of the development of Namibia will depend on the availability of well-trained and skilled manpower, he said.
Tjivikua said the best solutions to the energy challenges rest in renewables and therein lies economic opportunities.
It is estimated that by 2040, Africa's energy sector can create 2,5 million new jobs, and looking to a brighter and cleaner future, most of these jobs should be in renewables, said the rector.
He stressed that Namibia must fundamentally change its energy supply.
Namibia is proving to be fertile ground for solar energy innovation and collaboration among renewable energy stakeholders, utilities and regulators, he noted.
However, Tjivikua said, much work remains to be done to ensure that renewable energy is universally available and affordable to those who stand to benefit the most from it - all economic sectors and all inhabitants of Namibia.
Namibia has since 2007 been in the fortunate position of receiving an uninterrupted power supply.
The country imports more than 60 per cent of power from South Africa. Exports from South Africas power utility, Eskom, to neighbouring countries have been withdrawn during peak hours, and only limited power is being imported when available.
Namibias generation capacity has however recently increased with the Van Eck Power Station contributing valuable megawatts to the national power grid.
The two-day symposium aims to provide a platform for exchange of ideas towards 100 per cent energy and economic prosperity in Namibia.
Participants are from all over Africa but mainly Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.