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GIPF Approves Investment In 146 MW Renewable Energy Generation

By:Fransina Nghidengwa
The country’s biggest pension saving fund has approved an additional investment to generate 146 megawatts of power, coming online in the national grid in the next 12 months.
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) Chief Executive Officer, David Nujoma announced this development during a panel discussion on environment, social, and governance adoption in Windhoek this week.
Nujoma said the allocation of pension assets in the energy sector is part of the entity’s investment through various Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
He said to date, the institution has invested over N$2,6 billion in power generation of about 95 megawatts.
Namibia’s power generation is quite volatile, as a big chunk of the country’s generation comes from the seasonal river flow into the Ruacana Power Station, exposing the country to more than 60% in energy imports.
The liberalisation of the power sector has made participation by other parties easy, said Nujoma,
In recent years, Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said he country envisages that by 2030, 70% of the primary energy used will be locally generated.
GIPF’s principal officer explained that they are not only working towards self-sustainability in terms of power generation but their allocation brings about an element of generating the power in a form of responsible investment.
This is where generations do not emit or produce poisonous substances but clean energy that they are doing both in terms of solar, he said.
The GIPF chief said their focus will be towards wind and solar as the world pushes for more renewable energy generation.
“On wind alone we have 44 megawatts that are coming on board soon and look forward to some of these processes becoming a reality,”he said.
Nujoma has also acknowledged that in the medium term, it will not be practical to completely abandon carbon emitting sources such as coal. However, he advised for further investment in technology that can capture or clean up the unfriendly chemicals.
“Those that are doing coal or traditional power generation should also invest in technology that can clean up. We do not need to be stuck to the old way of doing things because the old things can be changed too,” he stated.
Meanwhile head of RMB Namibia Philip Chapman said Namibia is tracking well in delivering a portion of energy from sustainable sources.
“In terms of benchmarking Namibia is a leader in the energy space by thinking of renewables and looking at the percentage of the power that is currently being generated in Namibia compared to its peers,” he said.
According to him, both the ECB and Nampower have created an environment where different power prepositions could excel, as opposed to a one-supply model, which, he says, has helped them to expedite and have more velocity in the generation sector.
“Namibia is tracking very well and there is good work in the pipelines if they think of the green hydrogen opportunities that have been pursued,” he said.
However, Chapmane further said there is much more that needs to be done in the coming years for opportunities to be developed.
Last week, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta, during an answering session in the National Assembly said the country needed around N$255 billion to combat climate change in Namibia for the next seven years.

Fransina Nghidengwa

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