Govt. to use energy mix to address electricity deficit

15 Dec 2015 07:10am


The Namibian Government will embrace a mix of energy solutions to address the looming power deficit from 2016/17 to 2020/21.

This is part of an accelerating plan called 'Harambee Towards Prosperity for All,' aimed at significantly reducing poverty levels and inequality in the country, which will come into effect as of 01 April 2016.

In his address to the media at State House on Monday, President Hage Geingob said Government will embrace a mix of energy solutions of non-renewables currently in use and renewables such as solar and wind energy.

Geingob said focus will be on reform of the electricity sector to make it attractive for the private sector to invest in the provision of energy solutions.

With regard to solving the ongoing water supply shortages, he noted that key strategies will be pursued, which include the implementation of the natural water resources monitoring system and infrastructural development in the northern parts of the country to fully utilise the newly discovered deep groundwater resources.

In the central area, focus will be on implementation of the Windhoek Managed Aquifer Recharge concept, while more desalination capacity in conjunction with the use of renewable energy (solar and wind) will be developed along the Namibian coast.

"We will explore the feasibility of bringing industrial sites closer to water resources," he said, adding that water intense industries ideally should be located away from the central region and close to perennial rivers.

This would also reduce the influx of settlers from those areas who will then have more employment opportunities. He noted that under that plan (Harambee Towards Prosperity for All), the upgrade of the country's transport system will be aimed at ensuring the maintenance of competitiveness from a transport and logistics infrastructure perspective, and to bring Namibia closer to the vision of becoming the coastal gateway for the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

During that period (2016/17 to 2020/21), the completion of the deepening and expansion of the Port of Walvis Bay will be driven at full force to ensure that Walvis Bay becomes the preferred port along the west coast of Africa.

Other activities include the upgrade of critical sections of Namibia's railway to SADC standard to be able to transport heavy freight and lessen the damage to roads, while at the same time lead to safer conditions for ordinary road users.

The introduction of dual carriageways in some parts of the national road network between Windhoek and Okahandja; Windhoek and the Hosea Kutako International Airport; and Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are some of the key activities that will also take place during that period.

Commuter trains between Windhoek and Rehoboth; Windhoek and Okahandja; and Windhoek and the airport will also be installed. Geingob made it clear that to ensure a high success rate the plan will be integrated into the budget of the next financial year.

The plan will be integrated into existing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

The president also noted how 'Harambee Towards Prosperity for All,' will not duplicate or override Namibia's existing National Development Plan 4 (NDP4) and Vision 2030 but will instead compliment the already existing plans. (NAMPA) EK/LI/ND