Germany’s Energiewende On Track – How Namibia Can Benefit

The energy transition away from nuclear energy and fossil fuels and towards renewable energy (Energiewende) is Germany’s pathway into a future that is secure, environmentally-friendly, and economically successful: By 2025, at least 40 to 45 % of our energy is to be sourced from renewable energy and at least 80% by 2050. Also, energy is to be used more efficiently.

A great deal has already been achieved: Today, almost one third of Germany’s electricity comes from wind, solar and biomass.

This makes renewables its number-one source of electricity.

Germany’s energy is not only becoming greener, it is also used more economically. Primary energy consumption has been cut significantly in recent years in Germany – by 8.3% between 2008 and 2014.

As far as heat demand in buildings is concerned, primary energy consumption has even been reduced by 15.9 per cent between 2008 and 2015.

This was despite the fact that the number of new buildings and housing units increased over the same period.

In its World Energy Outlook 2016 (WEO) published on 16 November 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) underlines the need for a global energy transition.

Energy supply is also one of the largest challenges for Namibia’s future economic and social development. Energy consumption could soon reach almost 1000 MW of which only around one-third are generated locally at the moment.

Facing such a situation, the government is confronted with different proposals from various sides for policy solutions.

The German Government through various projects is trying to assist Namibia in expanding its use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.

Rehabilitation Ruacana:

The KfW, on behalf of the German Government, has been actively cooperating with NamPower in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The two partners have embarked on several initiatives. This includes the rehabilitation of the Ruacana turbines 1 to 3.

The rehabilitation measure is aimed at generating an additional capacity of 15 MW.

Ruacana is at the core of NamPower’s electricity generation accounting for more than 70% of Namibia’s domestic electricity generation. KfW has also financed the installation of a 4th turbine at Ruacana, as least-cost option to provide an extra 92 Megawatt (MW) of generation capacity.

Consultancy at Nampower for biomass:

Extensive areas in Namibia – of the order of 26 million hectares – are covered by encroacher bush (or invader bush).

Invader bush, while not the only source of Namibia’s biomass is a substantial and as yet underutilised source of energy. In 2012 a consultant appointed by KfW and NamPower undertook a pre-feasibility study in relation to the use of Namibian encroacher bush for commercial scale energy generation.

To support NamPower in the conduction of the Feasibility study for a Biomass Power Plant KfW, on behalf of the German Government, finances a technical advisory consultant within NamPower to augment NamPower’s in-house capacity in the technical department to support the project development and to assist in analysis and enhancement of NamPower´s strategy on energy efficiency and renewable energies.

GET FIT Feasibility Study:

Namibia’s eco-system is fragile and heavily impacted by over-grazing through farming activities.

This is evident by the loss of productive land and biodiversity due to the dispersion of the “invader bush” which has already covered more than one third of the countries’ surface. Although the awareness around economic losses due to invader tree is high in Namibia’s relevant institutions, so far progress in rolling out a de-bushing program has been limited despite of the associated economic, social and environmental co-benefits, such as preservation of biodiversity, re-cultivation of the land as farmland, ground water protection, tourism and job creation.

KfW, on behalf of the German Government, together with the Ministry of Mines and Energy is looking into the possibilities of exploiting renewable power generation from bush under an indicative GET FIT programme.

The GET FIT programme shall enhance the overall enabling environment for private investment into renewable energy, bringing improvements in renewable energy feed-in tariff system.

It covers a potential subsidies scheme, guarantees investments as well as technical assistance.

For Namibia, GET FIT foresees the use of biomass to energy.

July 2017
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