… As Kandjoze budgets N$61m for power projects
By Hilary Mare
THE Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has set aside about N$61.6 million during the current financial year, to improve the country’s self-generated energy supply.
Justifying this allocation in parliament recently,Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze, said that the ministry received a total budget of N$207 925000, which is distributed among seven programmes.
Consequently, an amount of N$127 982000 is earmarked for itsoperational budget, of which 79 percent is for employee benefits.
An amount of N$79 943 000 is set aside for the ministry’s development budget.
On the renewable energy front, Kandjoze noted that the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) interim programme will add a total of 70MW to the grid by the end of 2017.
“Currently, two plants are feeding clean energy into the national grid, while the remainder (of the plants) are under construction all over the country. The procurement process for the 37MW Solar PV plant near Mariental has been completed and it will be operational by March 2018,” he said.
The minister further stated that agreements for a 20 MW Solar PV plants and a 44MW wind energy initiative, involving independent power producers,have been concluded with Nampower, and will be operational by end of 2018.
A total of 18MW in new feeds,from Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs), are also at an advanced stage of completion,and will be operational by the end of the year.
“Both commercial and residential customers can now also be energy producers, through the promulgation of the country’s new net metering rules, which allow for renewable energy generators below 500kW to enter the fray,” he added.
The Mines and Energy Ministry’s budget vote for the 2017/18 financial year highlights the Kudu Gas to Power and Baynes Hydro Power projects as strategic for the country, as contributors towards achieving security of supply, while noting that “government is committed to their development”.
“Recently, Namcor and BW Offshore concluded a partnership for the development of the Kudu Gas Field, and it is anticipated that all commercial agreements will be finalised by the end of 2017. The Namibian and Angolan governments are committed to finalising all remaining environmental studies and outstanding project activities for the development of the Baynes Hydro Power project,” the budget vote explained.
Notably, during the 2016/17 financial year, 31 public institutions, 58 households and business centres were electrified countrywide, using budget of N$39 million.
“In order to reduce our national electricity demand, demand-side measures are being introduced. The Electricity Control Board oversees the implementation of these measures by electricity generation and distribution licensees. As such, the One Million Light Emitting Diode (LED) campaign was launched by Nampower in September 2016, for the replacement of incandescent light bulbs, and is expected to significantly reduce peak demand.
“Continuous public awareness campaigns by utilities and electricity distributors are also being conducted, as part of the demand-side measures. Efficient and effective energy resource management should become a culture for all the Namibian House consumers,” Kandjoze added.
Currently, Namibia is importing up to 200MW from Eskom, 39 MW from ZESCO of Zambia and 80MW from ZPC of Zimbabwe.
By Hilary Mare
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015