June 13, 2024
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World Bank Approves $138.5m for Namibia Renewable Energy

The World Bank has granted a loan of $138.5 million to Namibia’s state-owned power utility, NamPower, to prepare its electricity grid for the integration of renewable energy sources.

The recently approved financing comes from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Fund for Innovative Solutions in Global Public Goods and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The funds will enable NamPower to extend its electricity transmission and storage network, facilitating the large-scale incorporation of renewable energy.

NamPower plans to use part of the investment to build the 458 km Auas-Kokerboom 400 kV transmission line. This high-voltage line will stretch from the 400 kV substation at Kokerboom, near Keetmanshoop, to the Auas substation near the capital, Windhoek. The construction, which will cost $115 million, will run parallel to an existing power line in the south.

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In addition to supporting renewable energy integration, the new transmission line is expected to enhance the stability of NamPower’s grid. The utility will also design, supply, install, and commission a 100 MWh/25 MW battery storage system. This infrastructure is crucial for managing the variability of renewable energy sources and controlling fluctuating imports from Eskom, South Africa’s electricity provider.

NamPower’s Managing Director, Kahenge Simson Haulofu, explained that a second utility-scale battery storage system will be developed and integrated into the transmission network to support renewable energy projects. These investments according to Africa Energy Portal, are anticipated to advance Namibia towards sustainable development by leveraging its abundant renewable energy resources.

Namibia, with its immense solar potential, enjoys 10 hours of sunshine daily for 300 days a year, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Despite this potential, the country’s installed renewable capacity currently accounts for just over 30% of its total production, which is estimated at 690 MW.

These strategic investments in transmission and storage infrastructure are expected to significantly boost the share of renewables in Namibia’s energy mix, supporting the country’s sustainable development goals.

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