05 Nov 2015 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 05 NOV (NAMPA) The more Namibia depends on conventional fuel-based power solutions, the greater its exposure to fuel price and currency rate fluctuations will be, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein says.
Renewable energy investments should be a compelling option for us, he said on Wednesday during the official opening of the one-day energy conference in Windhoek.
The minister encouraged energy investors to embrace renewable energy sources which will be extremely healthy for the country from a stability of price point of view.
He said renewable energy technology is evolving and rapidly becoming more affordable, especially solar-voltaic generation.
Renewable energy projects now smartly compete with conventional power sources from a cost point of view.
According to the finance ministrys assessment, the unity cost of electricity from the much-anticipated Kudu gas power project is estimated at around N.dollars 2.55 per kilo watts per hour (KWh).
This is after taking into consideration the special export transmission and other infrastructure that needs to be invested in to support the project.
In contrast, Schlettwein said, the 2013 renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) procurement round in South Africa yielded unit electricity prices ranging between 67 cents to Rand 1.46 depending on the type of generation project.
He said renewable energy facilities are also very relevant for a sparsely populated country like Namibia where grid connectivity may not be a feasible option for all locations.
Renewable energy projects have proven such solutions are not only beneficial for domestic use but also supporting local businesses, like the use of locally produced energy for running irrigation pumps, he said.
The energy conference organised by Economic Association of Namibia, Hanns Seidel Foundation and The Namibian Newspaper was aimed at outlining the current power situation regionally and domestically, as well as to highlight some of the current challenges and potential solutions to these issues through constructive engagement and discussions.
Captains of industry in the energy sectors, Members of Parliament and some members of the public attended the conference.