How long has Light Systems Namibia been operational?
Light Systems Namibia was conceptualized in 2012 when the founding members met in Beijing, China. The company was registered in 2014 and became operational in the first quarter of 2015.
What kind of services does the company offers?
Light Systems Namibia Designs, Installs, Monitors and Maintains renewable energy solutions to meet the needs of our clients. Solutions include Solar off-grid systems, Solar Grid-Tied Systems, Solar Water Heaters (Solar Geysers), Solar Street Lights and Solar Powered borehole systems.
For Grid-Tied systems, we have the following segments: Metro Light: which caters for Residential clients and system size range from 1kW to 10kw Urban Light: which caters for Commercial and Retail Spaces and system size range from 5kW to 50kw. Industrial Light: which caters for Industrial and Small Business and system size range from 10kW to 50kw. Power Light: which caters for Large power users and system size range from 50kW upwards. There is a Light Field O&M which caters for Maintenance. In the Solar off-grid system segment, systems range from 180W onwards and come with solar batteries.
Approximately how many solar systems have you installed for companies and/or houses (be it whether water heaters, powered borehole, grid tied systems etc.)?
The company has carried out a number of installations since inception. I would say that we have carried out around a 100kWp of commercial Grid-Tied tied systems, around 25kWp of residential Grid-Tied tied systems, around 150kWp OFF-Grid Systems, 50 Solar Water Heaters, 20 Borehole systems and a number of street lights.
Business have become aware that to remain competitive, they need to cut down on expenses, so as to reduce operational costs. As the price of electricity ever keeps increasing, they have realized that it is important to invest in Renewable Energy technologies which can provide up to 60% of their electricity requirements depending on the type of business and hours of operation thereby cutting their electrical bills by up-to 60%.
Against this development, we expect to install around an additional 200kWp of commercial Grid Tied systems in 2017. With the promulgation of Net-Metering rules, we also expect the residential market to grow significantly in 2017 as well.
The Namibia 2011 Population and Housing Census Main Report indicates that only 33% of the population get their electricity for cooking from the national grid. This means that 67% of the population is not connected to the National Grid thus we expect growth in the Off-Grid segment over the years as Renewable Energy Technology prices reduce as advancements in technology improve.
Namibia imports 60% of its electricity, do you think the country has the potential to reduce that percentage and what role can Light Systems Namibia play in this?
A country with serious development plans cannot place such a huge amount of its energy needs in the hands of other countries. No one can escape the reality that electricity/energy drives development. The stakes are just too high as the Namibian economy risks grinding to a halt if other countries do not deliver and, instead, prioritise their own development.
Namibia definitely has to potential to reduce this high percentage of dependency. Renewable Energy is one source of energy this country is blessed with but we are unfortunately not making full use of.
The irradiance this country receives is much more than any European Country receives yet, we only have around 15MW of Solar PV installed in the 1st half of 2017.
The Harambee Prosperity Plan, which is the Namibian Government’s action plan towards prosperity for all Namibians, states that the country should “Increase local electricity generating capacity from 400 MW to 600 MW” and places an increased emphasis on renewable energy. Government’s language towards solar energy is motivating as it indicates genuine government will to utilize solar energy in the country. Renewable Energy companies like Light Systems Namibia have extensive knowledge, partners and expertise to bring a 10MW plan online in 12 Months provided guaranteed funding.
Do you have any on-going projects at the moment?
We currently have a sizeable pipeline at the moment but are always looking at growing it. The Electricity Control Board (ECB) recently announced an eight percent (8%) bulk tariff increase for the 2017/18 financial year thus we anticipate the market to consider renewable energy investments.
What are some of the things you take pride in that aren’t done by your competitors?
Our company has 3 key performance areas of focus. 1. We are a Namibian company founded to solve Namibian problems.
2. We are in the Renewable Energy Business for the Long Haul.
3. We are customer focused. We believe these values differentiate us from our competition in that we understand our client base and the culture they operate in, are committed to over them lasting solutions and we make them the focus of our business engagement.
Are your products affordable while at the same time not compromising on quality?
Being a customer-centric company, we attempt to see to it that we offer quality products that meet the budget and expectation of our clients.
What challenges does the company face and what sort of help does it need especially in these tough economic conditions that Namibia is currently finding itself in?
The current economic conditions have not spared the Renewable Energy Industry. It is equally affected by reduced opportunities especially from Government. We have developed strategies to see us through this difficult period to ensure we emerge stronger when the economy recovers.
What is your target market?
Our various segments have specific targets. Our Grid tied segments target business as well as residence in towns and cities. Our OFF-Grid segment is targeting the rural areas and farmers.
How many employees does your company has compared to when it was still in its infant stages?
We currently have a staff complement of around 10 full-time and 4 part-time. They are spread between our 2 offices in Windhoek and Ongwediva. We receive numerous requests for employment and job-attachments especially from the youth and assist where we can thus we normally have 1 or 2 additional people in our offices during certain months as we try to provide some work experience to these youths.
Anything else you can add?
Go Solar! The sun will never send you an invoice for the energy it provides. As stated earlier, Our Solar grid tied systems can cut up to 60% of your current electrical bill depending on your type of business and hours of operation. The return on investment for most of our solutions is usually 5 years where after, you will be getting free electricity apart from maintenance costs.