Energy-efficiency key to fight climate change

18 October 2019 | People

Ruan Bestbier

The Bank of Namibia report on Namibia’s second quarter performance found that fuel imports significantly contributed to the decline in the country’s current account.

An analysis by PSG Namibia states that the value of fuel imports increased in part due to a rise in fuel consumption stemmed from higher electricity production at the Anixas diesel-run power plant. This emergency diesel power station had to be used due to poor rainfall adversely affecting the Ruacana hydropower station’s electricity output.

This situation is one example as to why Namibian companies have turned to investigating and deploying energy efficient technologies to reduce their dependence on traditional forms of energy, such as fossil fuel and electricity. This is motivated by the fact that by applying energy-efficient methods, more can be done with less.

The impact of the cost of energy is also felt in key economic industries in Namibia, such as fishing and manufacturing. The fishing industry continues to be an energy-intensive activity and fishing fleets still need to adapt to high and ever-changing energy prices. In addition, the volatile oil price is a cause for economic concern for the fishing industry.

In Namibia, we continuously see the impact of global warming and the effects of climate change on our local environment and businesses. With Bank Windhoek’s Green Bond initiative coupled with SUNREF’s technical assistance facility, we aim to turn bankable projects into sustainable realities. By effecting energy-efficient technology or practices on your business, the long-term benefits will include savings in cost and maintenance expenses and most of all show that you are serious about climate change and its impending consequences.

It is important to note that the scope of the overall savings and the methodology required depend on the situation and location of the building or company and improving energy efficiency is a key tool for reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the long run.

To be more energy-efficient, the way forward is to take a systematic approach, with the purpose of obtaining adequate knowledge of the existing energy consumption when profiling your building or group of buildings and industrial or commercial operation. Further, identifying and quantifying cost-effective energy saving opportunities and reporting the finding of these opportunities to the management of your organisation to take action. One of the immediate remedies for addressing these concerns is to apply energy-efficient practices which reduce your carbon footprint and enhances cost savings, leading to an overall contribution to your company’s bottom line.

To implement recommended changes to address climate change, effective policies, private sector action and public-private cooperation are needed to assist in creating a more inclusive, sustainable, and affordable and secure local energy system.

Furthermore, the issuance of Namibia’s first Green Bond, and being a proactive partner of the SUNREF Namibia Programme, is testament to Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group’s vision of being the financial partner of choice, ultimately leading to positive change in the country and the southern African region. It is evident that there are still many untapped opportunities to use energy-efficiency to save money, cut harmful pollution and meet our climate goals of a limiting the global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius to pre-industrial levels.

*Ruan Bestbier is Bank Windhoek’s manager of sustainable investments and deal origination