Installed renewable capacity stands at 30%


Namibia has excellent renewable energy resources, however, installed renewable capacity in the country is just over 30% of total generation, the World Bank has estimated.

The bank now wants to help Namibia to strengthen the power grid, which it says is critical to enabling the integration of more variable renewable energy sources in the system.

The World Bank is now planning to help Namibia to minimize outage risks, support load growth, and unlock future opportunities for power trade in the Southern African Power Pool.

The bank said the US$138,5 million project funding by IBRD Fund for Innovative Global Public Goods Solutions and the Green Climate Fund will be used by NamPower for developing the second utility-scale battery storage facility in Namibia.

“This will further facilitate integration of large-scale renewable energy in Namibia’s generation mix, enabling it to reduce imports, improve grid stability, and help manage its demand peaks,” the bank said.

Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Namibia said Namibia is a uniquely positioned regional leader in the transition towards transmission expansion and energy storage project a greener and more sustainable future.

“The World Bank is delighted to support Namibia’s commitment to expand domestic energy generation with renewable solutions, consistent with the country’s Second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII). This project will support NamPower to develop future renewable energy projects,” said Kahkonen.

The project is structured around three components, development of the second Auas-Kokerboom transmission line, development of a utility scale battery energy storage system facility; and technical assistance activities to support NamPower develop bankable renewable energy projects and enhance the socio-economic benefits of their projects.

The project will support the development of a systematic socio-economic framework to support job creation, skills development and female employment during design and implementation of utility led projects.

According to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) given the government’s plan to expand power generation capacities – 60% of which should be from renewable energies, and growing interest from commercial electricity consumers to invest in self-generation facilities, the Namibian renewable energy market is dynamic and replete with viable business cases.

GIZ says given the high costs of grid electricity, renewable energy plants are competitive and can be economically implemented without subsidies.

By 2030, a total of 510 MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity is expected to be installed, the GIZ says. The expansion is set to take place through competitive tenders with IPPs subject to power purchase agreements with NamPower or REDs, the GIZ says. Renewable energies will also play an increasingly significant role in rural electrification, according to the GIZ.

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