Namibia announces R4.67bn renewable energy strategy

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Namibia’s state-run utility will build four plants powered by renewable energy over the next five years as the southern African nation seeks to guarantee local supplies and cut its use of fossil fuels.

The plants, which will harness biomass, solar and wind to generate a combined 220 megawatts, will cost 4.7bn Namibian dollars (around R4.67bn at current rates), Namibia Power Managing Director Kahenge Haulofu said at the launch of the company’s business plan for 2019-2023 in the capital, Windhoek.

Nampower currently imports about 60% of its needs, mostly from South Africa.

Construction will start later this year through 2022 and will be financed with internal resources, Haulofu said without elaborating.

The country, which is the driest in sub-Saharan Africa and has more than 300 days of sunshine a year, "stands to benefit as the worldwide boom in the solar market results in reduced costs and improved efficiency of solar photovoltaic panels and related equipment," Haulofu said.

Namibia, which is bigger than France by land area but has a population of just 2.6 million people, "has potential sites for the development of large-scale wind-power projects," he said.

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