14 power producers interested in solar and wind power

29 Jun 2016 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JUN (NAMPA) - A total of 14 Independent Power Producers (IPP) are in the process of constructing power plants in Namibia to enable the use of renewable resources such as wind power and solar energy.
Speaking at a public dialogue on Namibia’s Energy Policy here on Tuesday, Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze said Namibia’s IPP policy and associated market framework are crucial to attract investment in power generation projects.
Under the Electricity Control Board (ECB)’s Interim Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (Refit) Programme, 13 of these IPPs have opted to invest in solar photovoltaic projects, while one intends generating electricity using wind.
“Considering that we are still in an infancy phase with regard to the establishment and operationalisation of IPPs in Namibia, this is a good first step towards diversifying our national electricity supply,” he noted.
Currently, the line ministry is guiding the development of three important national policies namely: the IPP policy, renewable energy policy, and the review and update of the national Energy Policy.
In addition, the ministry is in the process of finalising a national integrated resource plan (NIRP). The NIRP is the electricity sector planning tool covering a 20-year period, outlining all the feasible, least cost generation and supply options with their capacities and envisaged deployment dates.
Kandjoze said in an effort to better understand investor requirements, he met with representatives of more than 30 organisations in the past two months.
“It is crucial that the private sector plays an active role in addressing the future electricity needs of the country. This will alleviate the funding burden from Government, relieve the borrowing requirements of the national utility NamPower, and introduce much-needed competition as well as new innovative technologies to Namibia.”
There are numerous opportunities for the private sector, ranging from conventional electricity supply solutions, to innovative off-grid business models and investments in embedded and distributed generation, according to Kandjoze.
“We therefore need to augment the non-firm sources of electricity with power supply options that have so-called base load characteristics. This means that they can be dispatched as and when needed.
“The renewable energy policy will therefore formulate an approach in which we can incentivise investments in firm renewable power generation options, such as power generated from biomass power plants, hydro power and possibly geothermal and wave power. This is exciting and will hopefully further unlock Namibia’s vast natural wealth of renewable energy sources,” he remarked.