Namibia banks on local solar power generation to close energy import gap

solar panel
solar panel

A new solar power generation plant that will be developed in the Namib Desert is set to feed 20 MW into Nampower’s Kahn substation from where it will be distributed to households and industrial consumers.

The development of the plant will be made possible following the inking of an agreement on Wednesday between Anirep Aussenkjerr Solar One, the recipient of a 25-year tender to produce power for Nampower and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) which will provide 193 million Namibia dollars (about 12 million U.S. dollars).

Talking about the importance of solar power, DBN Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba pointed out that according to the country’s statistics agency figures for February 2022, local production of electricity stood at 65,362 Mwh, but imports from the Southern Africa Power Pool stood at 255,286 Mwh.

Mutumba said that these figures are a snapshot of the current need to substitute imports.

“Viewed over the short, medium and long term, local generation was highly variable because Namibia’s largest power generation facility, Ruacana Hydroelectric Power Station is dependent on fluctuating levels of the Kunene River,” he added.

He illustrated the impact of the levels of the Kunene River by stating that in July 2021, power production from Ruacana Hydroelectric Power Station fell by 87.5 percent.

Mutumba said that this decline points not just to develop local power generation, but also to the need for stable sources of generation, such as solar.
The solar plant, 40 km from Usakos in the Erongo Region, will be developed by HopSol Africa, a local company.

Mutumba urged all stakeholders to approach the bank to examine business models and potential for future projects as he believes solar generation has benefits all around. Enditem

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