26 September 2007 – A demonstration gasification plant has been opened in Windhoek in an effort to expand sources of energy supply to the country. The gasification plant, which applies technology in producing electricity from biomass material, was launched by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute (REEEI) last week.

Joseph Iita, permanent secretary to the ministry of mines and energy confirmed that 60 percent of Namibia’s energy needs were imported, and this despite Namibia being one of the best suited countries for renewable energy applications. However, investment has not matched expected returns.

Approximately 26 million hectares of land is encroached by alien bush, meaning the wood gasification system employed could generate electricity and compliment the existing generation sources in Namibia.

The plant costs about N$4 million and can produce 3 500MWh per hectare.

REEEI coordinator, Kudakwashe Ndlukula said the project was intended to be used nationwide and the institute plans to make presentations to all farmers’ associations and other stakeholders.

"We hope to gather significant interest from these and other entrepreneurs to invest in distributed power generation from wood gasification and other technologies," he said.

REEEI also intends to embark on a wind profiling exercise in cooperation with Mobile Telecommunications Ltd. The information will assist in assessing sites for potential wind parks.