The Electricity Control Board is (ECB) reviewing 17 renewable energy generation licence applications, most of which want to generate electricity to sell it to the Southern Africa Power Pool.
This is despite Namibia’s own significant generation deficit, which led to the country importing around 70% of its power from Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Southern Africa Power Pool.
In response to The Villager’s questions, the ECB has highlighted the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have the appetite to invest in renewable energy generation.
However, the local market is very small and as a result, it is an impediment to investment in renewable energy generation.
“Therefore the majority of the investors are considering exporting to the Southern Africa Power Pool,” ECB explained.
By February 2023, ECB had issued 45 IPP licences.
Only 25 of the issued licences were operational with 170 MW installed capacity, contributing 176 MW to the grid. The majority of them are Solar PV and one wind project with 6MW capacity.
In its 2021 annual report, ECB indicated the contribution to the grid from IPPs increased as they were only contributing 168MW to the grid compared to the latest update.
For investors who want to apply for a generation licence, the regulator has indicated the turnaround time for an application is 90 days from the date of submission, adding that substandard applications can take up to 6 months to approve due to clarifications and re-submissions.
Furthermore, the regulator explained applications that were refused were mainly due to submission of insufficient information, no proof of funding, no off-taker agreement, and applications which are not technically, nor financially sound.
From 1 September 2019, the electricity supply industry adopted the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) market model that allows registered contestable customers and eligible sellers to transact with each other directly for the supply of electricity of up to 30% of the customer’s energy requirement.
The MSB further allows private generators to build new generation capacity in Namibia specifically for export purposes.
Additional contestable customers are however registered and eligible sellers licensed first for them to participate.
According to Section 17 of the Electricity Act, it is illegal for any entity to set up or carry out any electricity generation, trading, transmission, supply, distribution, import, or export operations without a licence (unless formally exempted under the Act). Email: email@example.com