Integrated Resource Plan expected in 2022

• By Hilary Mare

THE National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP) which was first drafted in 2013 and reviewed in 2016, is currently undergoing another review that is expected to be finalised in early 2022, Mines and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo has said.

The NIRP is a long-term plan that guides the development of the electricity generation industry by providing supply scenarios to meet projected demand.

It also maps out the country’s least cost electricity supply path into the future and includes an energy mix that optimises Namibia’s goal to become energy self-sufficient by using as far as the network allows indigenous renewable energy sources in the form of wind, solar PV and biomass.

“We will do this while also ensuring base-load generation options and storage to ensure stability and security of supply. The updated NIRP will have a base case scenario targeting a minimum of 70 percent share of energy to be supplied from renewable energy by 2030 as envisioned in the Renewable Energy Policy.

“The plan also envisages that by 2028, 80 percent of primary energy used will be locally generated,” Alweendo said this week at a Renewable Energy Business Summit in Dubai.

He went on to recognise the inevitability of the energy transition accepting that fossil fuel is no longer the fuel of the future and that the world is transitioning to renewable energy.

“We are, however, also calling for an energy transition that is just and equitable among nations. No one should feel left out. We need to guard against an energy transition process that has the potential to adversely affect some without any mitigation. It is the case that countries that are highly dependent on fossil fuel for their socio-economic development, may need a little more time to transition than countries that have already made an inroad into the renewable energy space,” he said adding that uniquely placed in Southern Africa, Namibia measures its wealth in many ways – from its world-class natural landscapes, its political stability and steady economic development, to its wealth in renewable energy resources.

“We have the world’s second highest solar irradiation regime, high wind power potential and potential for geothermal and bioenergy developments. The potential for green electricity production in Namibia is many times the country’s domestic electricity consumption.

“As a demonstration to our commitment to the transition from fossil fuel energy, renewable energy features prominently in our economic recovery plan that was recently launched by H.E President Hage Geingob. As part of the recovery plan Namibia has a goal to be a green hydrogen hub on the African continent. To realize our goal, in August this year we issued an international RFP to identify private sector investors to collaborate with us in building green hydrogen assets in Namibia. Several reputable companies responded to our RFP and we thank them for their interest in working with us,” extended Alweendo.

In conclusion Alweendo said: “Realising our goal of becoming a green hydrogen hub and addressing our energy security of supply, is a task that cannot be achieved by the government alone. To achieve our goal, we will rely on the private sector investment. We will need investors, both local and international, to invest in our energy sector. It is therefore our commitment to the investors that we will do all what is necessary to ensure that your investment in Namibia is protected and secure.”