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Namibia hosts 52nd Southern African Power Pool meeting

By: Rodney Pienaar

Namibia is hosting the 52nd Southern African Power Pool meeting in Windhoek as the country continues to fork out billions of dollars for energy imports from the southern African power pool.

The Namibian government is also part of the Paris Climate Agreement and is equally faced with the challenge of meeting the emission targets and improve the supply situation in the country.

Deputy mines minister, Kornelia Shilunga said, “As government we have put in place policies and guiding documents such as NDP5, Harambee Prosperity Plan, National Energy Policy, Renewable Energy Policy and Independent Power Producers Policy.”

“In addition, the government of the Republic of Namibia together with the Electricity Control Board (ECB), which is the regulator, aim to liberalize the supply of electricity in Namibia, through the introduction of the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Market Model.”

She added that the success for this agenda hinges among other things on access to reliable and affordable electricity supply.

It is therefore an ever present challenge for all utilities in the region and regional bodies least of all the SAPP to ensure that this regional agenda is fulfilled, she said.

Shilunga also said that that the two electricity related institutions that emanated from SADC and housed here in Namibia, the Regional Electricity Regulation Authority (RERA) and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) are in a conducive environment to drive the SADC agenda to fruition.

“No country should be isolated from trading in electricity with another SAPP member either through bilateral trade or SAPP markets. We believe that with funds permitting all the members of the SADC family will be interconnected and be able to trade in electricity across borders.”

“It is exciting to learn that you are engaged with the East African Power Pool (EAPP) with a view to interconnect the two power pools. The inter-connection to the EAPP will result in a larger power block bringing in new opportunities for both SAPP and EAPP,” she said.

Shilunga said key to these will be the sharing and optimisation of resources with which the continent is endowed.

“It is a well-researched topic that the region’s infrastructure is lagging behind. There is also a concern that there are sections of the interconnected grid that suffer from congestion due to constrained infrastructures,” she added.

Billions of dollars are required to be invested to bring new infrastructure to areas that are not adequately served with energy.

Likewise heavy investment is required to reinforce current infrastructure to unlock development opportunities for the region, she said.

The meeting is expected to end today.

Rodney Pienaar

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