Namibia’s Electricity Control Board (ECB) has issued 19 generation licences to Independent Power Producers (IPP). 16 of these licences are already in operation. Seventeen of the licensees have signed power purchase agreements with NamPower, the national power utility, and two with regional electricity distributors.
These licences are for Solar and Wind generation which will be adding 70MW to the national electricity grid with a total expected capacity of 171MW. This will lessen Namibia’s reliance on traditional electricity generation.
IPP’s will invest a total of N$1.6 billion in the Namibian economy through electricity generation. This is according to Gottlieb Hinda, the Chairman of the Electricity Control Board’s, (ECB) annual report.
“The ECB also believes that a sustainable national electricity infrastructure should be able to allow the market to respond adequately to challenges of security of supply and investment in infrastructure.” Hinda noted in the report.
Meanwhile, in the Chief Executive Officer’s report, Foibe Namene, cautioned that the challenges of the new energy future are real and new trends are set to disturb the status quo of a traditional utility model and characteristics of the grid. Namene said the most notable trends include more cost-effective technologies, new players in the market and new policies that support non-utility generators.
“This new reality demands a new way of thinking and how best to respond to deliver a future grid that is simultaneously flexible, reliable, sustainable and affordable. As experts have cautioned, the rise of renewable energy sources, increased grid complexity, changing consumer demands and volatile fossil fuel costs all create new concerns over electricity prices,” reads Namene’s report.
With continued support by the ECB into independent power producers, Namibia is sure to avoid situations which is currently the norm in South Africa, where load shedding is a daily occurrence.