By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
From July to September 2021, Independent Power Producers have generated more than 50% of the country electricity as the hydropower generation dwindled.
Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), latest electricity sectoral reports for July, August and September 2021 revealed.
Local electricity production stood at 50 664 MWh in September 2021, with the independent private producers accounting for 61,4% of electricity production.
For August, local electricity production stood at 43 152 MWh. Independent private producers ac- counted for 65,1% of electricity production.
Then for July 2021, local electricity production stood at 48 192 MWh, with IPPs accounting for 54,4% of electricity production.
For this year, Namibia local generation has never reached 100 000MWh, and it has been importing between 210 000 and 302 000MWh of power from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and from Day-ahead Market.
For the three months being reviewed (July-September 2021), import has been between 290 000 and 302 000MWh of electricity in September 202.
Despite low generation in the months under review, the country exported 9 668 MWh in September, 8 979 MWh in August and 8 978 July 2021.
Another observation made by The Villager on NSA data is that power demand is beyond the domestic market as neighbouring countries also came for little Namibia generated.
Angola is the leading importer of Namibian electricity accounted for 53,7% and 56,7%, 58% of electricity exports in July, August and September 2021, respectively.
With its long-term vision of becoming a net electricity exporter, Namibia only managed to export more than 10 000 MWh of electricity eight times in 81 months.
The highest MWh of electricity (and the only time 11 000 MWh reached) exported by the country was 11,340 in January 2019, and it was only done once since 2015.
The country power export has been stuck between 70 0000 MWh and 9 900 MWh for the past seven years, including 2021.
According to the Electricity Control Board (ECB) during 2020, Namibia’s electricity demand was supplied at 41% from local sources (NamPower Generation and IPPs), of which 33% came from NamPower generation and 7% from IPP.IPP increased their share of total supply into the system by 22%.
Eskom contributed the largest share of 35% in terms of import, while other regional markets ((Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Short-term Energy Market (STEM), and Zimbabwe Power Company Limited (ZPC)) only supplied 25%.
The annual report also revealed that to reduce dependence on imports and increase the share of local generation, NamPower has in total concluded 19 Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
One more IPP is expected to commission its plant during 2021 and will feed 5MW to the grid.
ECB also highlighted that reduced energy demand had been observed in 2020 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, customer-owned generators connected to distribution networks across the country total 55 MW, resulting in decreased energy sales by most distributors.
The regulator assessment indicated that due to the increased construction of new generation plants, the average increase in GDP growth is expected to be approximately 0,2% per annum, with a net cumulative additional economic impact by 2025 of about N$3,751 billion.
The additional (energy) private sector investments are anticipated to create an approximately additional 400 jobs annually.
This excludes any potential benefit from developing a new plant aimed at exporting power to the region.
ECB highlighted that exporting potential represents a material but unquantifiable benefit for Namibia.
During the reporting period 2020, the system’s maximum hourly demand in Namibia was 688MW (including the demand from Skorpion Zinc Mine), a 0,6% increase compared to the maximum demand of 684 MW during the 2019 financial year.