Namibia eyes wind to help electricity shortage

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Namibia faces crippling electricity shortages from as early as next year -- and wind power is one of the best solutions. That is what Markus von Jeney, deputy director for energy in the Namibian ministry of mines and energy, told a recent oil conference in Cape Town in South Africa. Namibia's government has already commissioned a feasibility study on whether it should set up wind farms to supply the national grid. The coastal region is thought to have particular wind potential. The second major possibility for the sparsely populated southern African country is solar power, he said. "It is realised that already very early in the next millennium shortages will occur in the normal supply patternÉstarting even in 1999," he told delegates at Africa Downstream. The Namibian power company, NamPower, is poised to build a 400 kV line to link up to South Africa's national grid. But new sources of power such as wind and solar energy will still be necessary, he said.

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