Namibia pushed to install wind power

AFRICA: Namibia should install at least 44MW of wind power as part of a national integrated resource plan (NIRP) aimed at meeting its near and long-term power needs, according to international consultancy Hatch.

Walvis Bay, city set to have one of Namibia's first wind farm
Walvis Bay, city set to have one of Namibia's first wind farm

The southern African country imports up to 60% of its power. To improve security of supply, the NIRP envisages developing Namibia's offshore gas reserves, improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewables.

"The least cost scenario, and the recommended one as of this point in time, includes 44MW of wind power installed in the Luderitz area in 2014," explained Robert Griesbach, director of energy consulting at Hatch, which helped draw up the NIRP.

Up to now, wind power has struggled to get off the ground in Namibia, largely because of difficulties negotiating power purchase agreements with state utility NamPower.

The 44MW project near Luderitz on the south-western coast, is owned by a Namibian- Korean consortium and has been granted a conditional generation licence. It would therefore act as a pilot, paving the way for further private-sector investment.

Innowind, a South African subsidiary of French renewables company EDF Energies Nouvelles has also received a conditional licence for 60MW at Walvis Bay, further north on the coast, and is in discussions with NamPower. However, Belgium's Electrawinds has abandoned its 50MW project at Walvis Bay because it found the wind resource was insufficient.

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