The Namibian government plans to have at least 80% of Namibia’s electricity consumption locally produced by the year 2022. The country plans to change how electricity generated by independent power producers is sold.
Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo said this last week at the mining expo.
The minister added that their concern remains the fact that the country still imports significant amounts of electricity, but they are working hard to reverse this situation.
“Over the years, we were able to attract independent power producers (IPPs) to invest in electricity generation, and we will continue to do so,” he said.
With regards to the mining sector, the minister stated that without sufficient and affordable supply of electricity, this sector would not be able to operate optimally. Thus, the security of energy supply in the mining sector is important to grow it.
The minister added: “Of the 4 285 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity we consumed in 2018, 1 424 GWh was consumed by the mining sector. This is a significant portion of electricity consumed by the mining sector.”
As an additional step to attract more IPPs, the government has recently introduced a significant change in how electricity generated by IPPs is sold.
“Currently, all IPPs are required to negotiate and sign power-purchase agreements with NamPower because it is only Nampower that is allowed to purchase electricity from IPPs. As from September, this will change, where IPPs are allowed to sell their electricity to large buyers such as mining companies,” Alweendo noted.
Additionally, energy deputy minister Kornelia Shilunga said a fortnight ago in parliament that the government has budgeted about N$81 million to improve energy supply in Namibia during the 2019/20 financial year.
Shilunga, who was motivating the ministry’s budget, said the country wants to address energy supply, access to modern energy services, and electricity conservation. She tabled a N$286,17 million budget vote.
“On renewable energy supply, the ministry will continue to monitor the implementation of the renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) interim programme, and other solar PV plants and wind projects,” she stated.
Shilunga added that the government will continue prioritising the rural electrification programme as a way of providing access to and usage of modern energy services to more Namibians.