New Harambee electricity targets

18 March 2019 | Energy

Deputy energy minister Kornelia Shilunga says government will soon commit itself to the 100% electrification of schools, hospitals and other public institutions, as well as a 50% rural electrification target, under the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

It is envisaged that connection to the national grid will take place by 2020.

“This plan is to be finalised soon and it is trusted that these values will remain and be achieved. This will only be possible if there is an adequate electrical supply that is affordable,” Shilunga said, while addressing a two-day Association of Electricity Distribution Undertakings (AEDU) Namibia conference in Swakopmund last week.

“Today is therefore an opportunity to have a look at electricity supply industry in Namibia, the threats it faces from new technology and the changing market conditions, while ensuring affordable electrical supply in Namibia in a sustainable manner.

“We are fortunate to have this opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with electricity supply industry leaders, suppliers and our industry friends from South Africa here today, with a vision to enhance the electricity supply industry in our country,” Shilunga said.

It is expected that solar, wind, battery storage, broadband data communications, improved IT management systems and others, will be rolled out by the industry.

“The current drive by technology indicates that customers, large and small, are most likely going to become self-sufficient in producing for their own energy needs.

“This will affect the usage of electricity and fossil fuels such as wood and oil products and indicates a different world just over the horizon.

“We are not there yet, as some marketers may make you believe, but it is required for a cleaner and sustainable future and becomes the next logical step,” Shilunga said.

On the transmission front, the 400 kV link from the new Kunene substation to Omatando was completed during February, but still excludes the end-point substations.

NamPower is currently planning transmission interconnection upgrades from South Africa via Oranjemund to Keetmanshoop and also from Keetmanshoop to Windhoek.

“As technology suggests, off-grid options are also becoming more viable and it is trusted that the use of these are going to become commonplace amongst distributors to cater for settlements that cannot be viably connected to the national grid,” said Shilunga. At institutional level, the role of the Electricity Control Board will be changing soon, as envisaged by the implementation of the National Energy Regulator Act.

The national energy regulator will have an expanded field of responsibilities that will include other energy sources.

Adolf Kaure