Namibia’s Dream May Turn Africa Green

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Namibia is approximately 2.61 million people[1]. In 2019, 55.2 % of the people in this country on the southwest coast of Africa had  access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Namibia’s economy was ranked 138th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent[4] on the export of copper, diamonds, uranium, thorium, gold, zinc, and fish.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Namibia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to an 8.9% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business as usual.

In 2019, the state-owned electric utility, NamPower used renewable energy (98,1 %), coal (1.0 %),  and oil (0.9 %) to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Namibia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Namibia include:

  • 90 MW Wind Projects – Namibia’s electric utility, NamPower is continuing work on two wind projects at the Tsau Khaeb National Park at a site approximately 250 miles southwest of nation’s capital, Windhoek.
  • 50 MW Wind Project – Namibian independent power company, InnoSun Energy Holding is continuing work on a wind project at a site approximately 225 miles southwest of Windhoek.
  • 25 MW Solar Projects – The municipal government of Windhoek has announced plans to build a total of five, 5 MW solar projects. The five solar projects are forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – Namibian renewable energy company, Access Aussenkehr Solar One is continuing work on the Khan solar project at a site approximately 80 miles west-northwest of Windhoek. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – Namibian solar company, Hopsol Africa is continuing work on the Omburo solar project at a site approximately 100 miles northwest of Windhoek. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.

Conclusions

Namibia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including onshore/offshore wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass. Stand-alone, utility scale solar projects are now being built to supply electricity to remote areas of the country.

Namibia’s government dreams of becoming a renewable energy hub, exporting clean green energy to neighboring south African countries. In 2020, Namibia’s neighbor; the Republic of South Africa used fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to generate 88.5% of the country’s electricity.

Namibia’s dreams of becoming a renewable energy hub, may help turn Africa green.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

[1] Namibia Population (2021) –  January 2, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] Namibia – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity – Namibia

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Namibia:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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