By Wezi Tjaronda
A geothermal energy project has become the first clean development mechanism (CDM) project to be approved in Namibia.
CDM is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialised countries with a commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries, as an alternative to more expensive emission-reduction mechanisms in their own countries.
By reducing emissions, Namibia can earn carbon credits from industrialised countries willing to reduce their emissions under the CDM, which may result in significant investments that would in turn contribute to sustainable development.
An official at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said yesterday the geothermal energy project was approved even though its final approval will come from the executive board of the CDM based in Bonn, Germany.
The official said although the project promoters still have to sort out a number of issues, they indicated that they are ready to have the project started by end of year.
“Due to the increasing demand for energy in the country, they want to start off the ground by the end of this year,” the official said.
The ministry is also scrutinising an application of a project to set up a fuel switch project from coal to gas technology.
New Era understands that many embassies in Namibia have approached the ministry about the possibility of their nationals investing in CDM projects in Namibia.
Possible CDM projects include fuel switching, energy efficiency and renewable energy such as wind turbines or solar parks and biofuels.
Incentives for CDM projects include economic growth, increased employment opportunities, diversified economic activity and technological transfer.
African countries so far only account for 2.4 percent of global CDM projects, with the majority (41 percent) being in China and 14 percent in Brazil and India.
As of now, there are 3?