scaling solar programme
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The energy ministry’s ninth renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) project has been connected to the national electricity grid, feeding 5MW of power.

Speaking at the official opening and inauguration of Aloe Investments’ 5MW solar PV power plant, minister of mines and energy Tom Alweendo highlighted the progress of the programme since its inception.

“The REFIT programme was initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Electricity Control Board and NamPower in 2015, with the intention to reduce our electricity imports and attract private investment in the development of renewable energy resources in Namibia,” said Alweendo.

 According to the Namibian, the minister underlined that energy remains the number one key input for development, thus government recognises it in both the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and the fifth National Development Plan as a priority infrastructure area needed for the nation’s socio-economic growth and development.

He said: “With the HPP action plan, we have committed ourselves to increasing the local electricity generating capacity from 400 to 600MW and the rate of rural electrification from 34% to 50% by 2020.

“It is therefore important that we continue to proactively plan, structure, manage and develop an energy sector that can optimally support and respond to our development aspirations today, and in the future.” Read more: MIGA helps secure long-term financing for solar power

National energy policy

Alweendo further revealed that his ministry has finalised the national energy policy together with the national renewable energy policy.

“We are also cognisant of the fact that the government alone cannot shoulder the immense investment required for the development of the country’s energy infrastructure. We need the private sector, and we explicitly welcome the active participation of private sector actors, such as Aloe Investments, who have realised this power plant here at Rosh Pinah,” Alweendo added.

He said as the country moves towards Vision 2030, it must continue to use local available resources for the benefit of the nation, adding that the country has one of the world’s best solar resources, and a significant amount of biomass and plenty of good wind regimes.

African Utility Week