Nampower to install one-million free LED bulbs in households

26 Nov 2013 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 26 NOV (NAMPA) – Nampower plans to import one-million Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs in the residential sector as Namibia’s electricity sector continues to face major challenges.
The importing of these energy-efficient bulbs is part of the national power utility’s Demand-Site Management (DSM) programme, which will be launched before the end of this year.
The programme forms part of the short-term projects earmarked to assist with power supply between now and 2018 when the Kudu Gas-to-Power project will be up-and-running.
NamPower's Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba told a packed media briefing here on Tuesday that the one-million LED bulbs’ campaign entails the replacement of critical incandescent bulbs in the residential sector, which are most likely to be switched on during peak demand times, with LED light bulbs.
He explained that the campaign will be executed by contracting Energy Service Companies (called LED Champions), who will recruit local individuals to perform house-to-house replacements.
The free installation of LED lights will be implemented in two phases, with the first phase to be limited to two towns as a pilot project.
The second phase will be rolled-out to the rest of the country, depending on the outcome of the pilot phase.
Shilamba noted that the benefit of this campaign is the reduction of the lighting load during peak demand times, as well as the stimulation of the local energy-efficient lighting market.
The one-million LED campaign is expected to reduce the peak demand by up to 30 megawatts (MW).
LED is a power-saving product which offers a comparatively long life, compared to incandescent light bulbs and some fluorescent lighting.
Shilamba explained that the DSM programme also involves the installation of solar water heaters, which NamPower will subsidise.
The project is aimed at exchanging 20 000 electric water heaters (EWH) with solar water heaters (SWH) over the next five years.
Such an exchange will contribute to reducing the national peak demand by approximately 10 MW.
The intention is for NamPower to incentivise the exchange of EWHs by providing a rebate of 10 per cent of the installation cost for each EWH which is replaced by a SWH.
“The DSM programme also involves entering into a partnership with companies which have standby generators so that we can force them to run those generators at NamPower’s cost when we are really in a crisis situation,” Shilamba explained.
He further stated that the country’s power supply situation is critical, but firmly under control.
Meanwhile, the country is currently importing between 50 and 70 per cent of its energy requirements from the southern African region, while also depending on the availability of water at the Ruacana Hydro-power station, which increased its capacity with an additional unit of 85MW to a total installed capacity of 334MW.
The country imports energy from Eskom in South Africa; Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM); Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa); Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Zesco); and the Societe Nationale d’electricite (SNEL) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Although several power-generation plants are planned, most of these plants are to start generating only after 2017 due to construction lead times.
Namibia decided to go ahead with the execution of power-generation projects such as the Baynes Hydro-power and the Kudu Gas-to-Power project, which are only expected to generate power after the year 2017.
The Baynes Hydro-power station is set to cost at least N.dollars 13 billion, while the Kudu Gas project is estimated to cost at least N.dollars 13,8 billion.