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Solar power must mitigate electricity supply shortages

Solar power must mitigate electricity supply shortages

Solar power must mitigate electricity supply shortages

Zorena Jantze

Among the numerous developmental challenges facing Namibia is the need for huge investments in power generation capacity.

The financing of the power sector is however beyond the scope of most countries. Speaking at the Association of Electricity Distribution (AMEU/AEDU) technical conference, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga highlighted this, stating that access to electricity remains a challenging issue and requires commitment and prioritisation by the Distributors to reach the goals of the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Vision 2030
She added that Technology has helped Namibia realise its untapped resource of sunshine and can play a major role in developing the country at large.

“Electricity is a technology and infrastructure based industry and it is therefore expected that the opportunities available such as Solar, Wind, Battery Storage, Broadband Data Communications, Improved IT Management Systems and others, will be rolled out by the industry to realise the benefits of these existing applications that have already proven.” Shilunga stated.

She stated that the Wind Generation Plant in Lüderitz and adjustments being made to the National Regulation to provide access to more industry players, support adequate generation capacity at a competitive price
On the Transmission front, she stated that the 400kV link from the new Kunene substation to Omatando has been completed during February 2018, but still excludes the end point substations.

NamPower is currently busy with planning for transmission interconnection upgrades from South Africa via the Oranjemund to Keetmanshoop and also from Keetmanshoop to Windhoek routes.
Shilunga stressed that as technology suggests, off-grid options are also becoming more viable and it is trusted that the use of these are going to become common place amongst Distributors to cater for settlements that cannot be viably connected to the national grid.

She further announced that on the institutional level, the role of the ECB will be changing soon with the envisaged implementation of the National Energy Regulator Act.
The National Energy Regulator will have an expanded field of responsibilities and will not only cover the Electricity Industry anymore, but also other energy sources.

Government is planning to commit itself to a targeted 50% Rural Electrification figure and 100% of all schools, hospitals and other public institutions connected to the national grid by 2020 under the Harambee Prosperity Plan to ensure Prosperity for all Namibians

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