Namibia – An Alternative Paradise

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WINDHOEK Namibia can become the frontrunner in Southern Africa when it comes to implementing renewable energy concepts in a drive to save energy. Due the abundance of sunlight and wind in the country, renewable energy experts view Namibia as an ideal country where alternate or renewable energy production can become a viable option in the long run – not only for the country but the entire region as well. This was said by the Director of Amusha, Harald SchÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼tt, when he delivered a presentation on Renewable Energy in the capital this week. In his presentation, he stated that the large-scale introduction of solar water heaters would save Namibian households electricity of over N$100million per year, which can be available as disposable income. Speaking to New Era in an interview after the presentation, SchÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼tt said times are changing and that renewable energy is fast gaining momentum around the world due to rising oil prices and the limited amount of fossil fuels in the world. Namibia is not immune to the effects of rising oil prices which raise the price of conventional electricity tariffs. However, as a result, there is growing market for renewable energy and SchÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼tt believes time has come for Namibia to take a foothold in this viable sector. Although there is the constant fear of the insecurity of sufficient sunlight and wind power, it is believed that as long as Namibians stop ‘thinking within the box’ they can be an economically and technically viable energy sources to take for future energy supply. Currently, approximately more than one third of the Namibian population is connected to the national electricity grid and makes use of this conventional supply. Yet, studies have shown that more energy is lost through conventional electricity supply and while the technologies for solar energy may be expensive since it is exported from outside, it turns out cheaper in the long run. Conclusions drawn from the presentation hosted by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) were that Namibia ” … should stop being a price-maker, but a price-taker. What is needed for now is money for more research, a clear mandate from government and the private sector to become involved while at the same time initiating a debate on what’s considered to be an important topic for generations to come.”