WINDHOEK, 05 NOV (NAMPA) -
To achieve the goals set out in Vision 2030 and National Development Plan (NDP4), Namibia needs electricity generation capacity that is both sustainable and reliable.
Local economist Suta Kavari said on Wednesday the declining power supply capacity within the Southern African Power Pool has exposed Namibia to a great degree of power uncertainty going forward.
He said this will pose significant downside risk to the growth outlook and negatively impact the country's development agenda. Currently, Namibia imports more than 60 per cent of its power from neighbouring countries.
Speaking at the one-day energy conference titled 'Energy in Namibia - a constructive review and way forward' in Windhoek, Kavari said the southern African region is facing an electricity crisis. Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have experienced power shortages on average every third day during the first half of this year, with Zambian power outages lasting for 14 hours at times, he indicated.
He explained that the region's power constraints are due to rapid increase in demand and the fairly stagnant supply growth over the past three to four decades.
"Namibia has largely avoided the same fate as its neighbours, for the moment, but current generating capacity is not enough to meet the growing electricity demand," he said.
The energy conference organised by the 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.
Over the last three months, the Economic Association of Namibia has partnered with the Hanns Seidel Foundation in hosting a series of events titled 'Piecing the Puzzle Together', which covered the three pressing issues faced by the Namibian economy at present - water, housing, and energy.
The first series of discussions was on the looming water crisis. The aim of the event was to provide information on the current water supply situation in Namibia and Windhoek in particular, as well as some of the medium and long-term solutions to ensure water supply security to the central region of Namibia.
The second series was centred on housing, and the aim was to provide information on the economic challenges and solutions surrounding the Namibian residential property market, but also to assess some of the economic benefits of providing access to formal housing through property ownership.
Captains of industries in the energy sectors, members of parliament and some members of the public are attending the conference.