Conference on Sustainable Development in Namibia in view of COP 21 “Namibia’s Energy Policy”
On Tuesday, 28th June, a conference which gathered speakers from both the public and private sectors was jointly organised at the Franco Namibian Cultural centre (FNCC) by the Embassy of France in Namibia, representing the chairmanship of the COP21 process in 2016, and the Renewable Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN), with the generous support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Franco Namibian company InnoSun, on the topic of Namibia and Renewable Energy.
More than 200 people attended this second session of Park Talk held at the FNCC, which addressed topics related to the COP21 process and renewable energy.
H.E Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, Ambassador of France, opened the discussion by emphasizing that energy management is now a critical sovereign task required for all modern and responsible state. Thanks to its natural, free, abundant and available resources, Namibia could be this country, modern, responsible and exemplary in this area. She concluded affirming that the Namibian spirit, genius and political will must control and use these resources for the benefit of the nation, its finances and its industrial and mining sectors.
The guest-speaker, Hon. Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Ministry of Mines and Energy, on this occasion stated that energy is a key requirement for the nation’s development, and that the country’s security of supply has been in the agenda for the past 14 months. He recalled that the ministry is developing 3 national policies :
The IPP policy, which is crucial to attract investments in power generation projects : the government alone cannot provide all the investment requirements of the country. The private sector has to play an active role in addressing the electricity needs ;
The Renewable Energy Policy : 14 IPP licences have been granted : 13 of them invest in solar photovoltaic and one in wind power ;
The review and update of National Energy Policy is at the beginning of the process, and will emphasize Namibia’s security of supply, especially liquid fuels and electricity. The policy also aims at ensuring access to affordable modern energy for the two-thirds of the population, in rural areas still not electrified. In doing so, there is a need for collaboration of the private sector with the government.
The government is furthermore finalizing a National Integrated resource Plan (NIRP) covering the 20 next years for the electricity sector.
Hon. Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Ministry of Mines and Energy
Veston Malango, CEO of Chamber of Mines, highlighted that since Namibia’s mining industry is a large consumer and a growing activity, the sector absolutely needs energy.
The Chamber of Mines strongly supports the development of renewable energy, a strategic sectof to secure power supply in Namibia, with various energy policy drafts : National Renewable Policy, NIRP (negative interest rate policy, to incentivize banks to lend money more freely and businesses and individuals to invest rather than pay a fee to keep money in the bank) … He also invited independent power producers (IPP) to meet their commitments : 35 IPP licences have been granted to date, but only a part of them have delivered energy.
Mr. Veston Malango, CEO of Chamber of Mines
RMB Namibia, which has provided funding to over 10,000MW of energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa including over 1GW in renewable energy projects, provided a bank’s perspective. Daniel Zinman listed the characteristics that can attract bank project financing.
1) Policy certainty and clear legal framework
2) Creditworthy offtaker
3) Bankable documents (Power Purchase Agreement, Transmission and Connection Agreement, Direct Agreements…) that follow international best practice.
4) Good line-of-sight of future opportunities
5) Access to long-term funding through the financial markets
He considers Namibia is well placed for most of these criteria, and therefore a number of international investors and funders are eager to commit capital to the Namibian energy sector.
Mr. Daniel Zinman, Africa energy team of RMB Namibia
Harald Schutt, general manager of REIAoN (Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia), underlined the need for a clear commitment from the government to encourage Independent Power Producers on the one hand and the need for international support on the other hand. He stated that Namibia, which has a high solar energy potential, needs to evolve from a power-importing country to a power-exporting one, through encouraging energy efficiency with optimization of buildings and industry.
The direct and fruitful exchanges with the participants addressed, notably, the issues of the place of young people in the development of the energy sector, and of the incentives to innovation.
Among the broad audience : the Ambassador of Portugal, H.E Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Cllr. Muesee Kazapua, the Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy, Mr. Alexandre Peaudeau, and the Counselor for Cooperation at the Embassy and Director of the FNCC, Mr. Patrick Portes.