Opuwo – Namibia intends to increase locally generated power by 200 megawatts in its quest to reduce the amount of imported power from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe and save some money that it spends on the importation of electricity.
Namibia has a peak demand of about 650 MW and it currently imports about 60 percent of its total demand from neighbouring countries with which it has power-sharing agreements.
The government master plan is to decrease imports and increase self-generation and exporting, particularly with the mixing of energy enterprises as indicated in the National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP).
“Modern energy unlocks access to improved quality of life and Namibia has an enormous potential for cleaner energy, such as solar, wind, biomass, hydro and natural gas – however, having potential is not good enough,” said the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, at a meeting held in Opuwo.
Therefore the need for efficient, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy generation, together with non-failing transmission and distribution processes, are needed in this country to ensure that Namibians have access to electricity.
According to the deputy minister, under the Harambee Prosperity Plan the government plans to increase the local generation capacity by 200 MW and electrify 310 schools by 2020.
Furthermore, access to electricity will be increased from 34 percent to 50 percent and government have only two years left to fulfil this mission.
“We are getting closer to that fulfilment because we have seen more solar farms and the first ever wind farm coming onto the grid during 2016, and then the beginning of this year 2018,” said Shilunga. The Ministry of Mines and Energy will continue to consult and conduct research on modern and renewable sources of energy, he added.
Shilunga urges the regions to assist with the implementation of projects and making sure that the projects are realised. She made the remarks during the working session that she held at Opuwo in Kunene Region.
* Malakia Nashongo works for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Opuwo, Kunene Region.