Shilunga charms energy investors in UK

…as she calls for equal opportunity partners

• BY HILARY MARE

KORNELIA Shilunga, deputy minister of mines and energy has sold Namibia’s energy investment case to potential investors at the 23rdAfrica Energy Forum highlighting that Namibia is not only open for business but is geared towards becoming the first zero emission country in Africa.

Addressing delegates at the Forum held in London this week, Shilunga expressed that for Namibia to harness its renewable potential, it is important that it forges public-private relationship.

“Therefore, Namibia offers great opportunities in renewable energy investment. Apart from solar and wind energy resources, Namibia offers opportunity for green hydrogen development.

“We shall therefore welcome as government, international investors to explore the opportunities of joining us in these projects of lessening the heavy burden of climate change effects. We shall be more than willing to deal with those investors who regard us as equals and the benefits to be mutually shared considering the ordinary Africans, who are truly the custodians of our resources, and who should be the major beneficiaries,” Shilunga told the forum.

Like many Sub-Sahara African countries, Namibia has not yet achieved universal electricity access despite having wide range of energy resources. To date Namibia imports around 60 percent of its electricity needs.

“The Namibian demand for electricity is optimally met by a combination of self-generation and trading with SAPP members. Although the share of imported power is reducing as more local power plants are constructed, the intention is to further reduce reliance on imports towards 2030.

“Namibia is open for business: it has a well-established, fit-for-purpose regulatory and legislative framework. The implementation of the Modified Single Buyer structure is liberating the electricity supply market to allow private entrants to power generation and supply side, opening the market responsible whilst still maintaining security of supply and grid integrity,” she said further stating that the National Integrated Resource Plan is in its final stages being updated, seeking most optimal and cost-effective plans for Namibia to serve her consumers with secure and affordable electricity.

“The plan includes options for storage projects to support and enable the integration of more low cost solar and wind options. In support of that, Namibia recently concluded its storage regulations for the building and operation of electricity storage solutions, connected to the national grid. The Namibian government recognises that to develop the country’s energy sector requires a conducive investment environment and significant capital.”

Shilunga also said that Namibia’s aim is to ensure that it maximises value generation from all available energy resources for the benefits of Namibians.

“In addition, we aim to be a net exporter of energy in Southern Africa through the Southern Africa Power Pool. This will allow us to provide energy to our neighbouring countries that may experience a power deficit. Therefore, the Namibian energy sector offers numerous opportunities for growth and investment,” she concluded.