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    Renewable Energy in Namibia

    Namibia spent billions of dollars on importing electricity from its neighbouring countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe.
    Namibia is to piloting a project for sustainable resources and energy development, to treat local blackish groundwater to a that complies with the national standards for drinking water, using sun and wind energy to power the purification process (desalination). According to the Adaptation Fund (AF) in an announcement on Wednesday, Namibia clinched the funds worth 4.9 million U.S. dollars for that specific project which is set to use reverse osmosis and pilot two plants in a rural setting, where the water demand of the communities differs.The two selected project sites are at Grunau settlement and at Bethanie village, both located in the far south of the country.

    Image resultThe entity responsible for implementation in the country will be the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia, while the executing entity will be the country's water utility firm, NamwaterThe AF said the execution of the project will yield a wide range of information and knowledge on both technical and social aspects of establishing and operating such treatment and power plants."The acquired information, knowledge and skills will then be communicated to stakeholders in the water supply sector in order that the applied technology could be mainstreamed and replicated elsewhere in the country," the announcement added.
    Furthermore the project will result in improved resilience of vulnerable communities and groups to climate change impact, specifically to a decrease in water quality of existing groundwater sources. The AF, which is a pioneer in climate adaptation financing, gives developing countries full ownership of adaptation projects, from planning through implementation, while ensuring monitoring and transparency at every step.

    Renewable Energy Revolution

    The world is becoming increasingly technology driven and at the same time concerns with global warming and environmental pollution. In our quest for conquering new frontiers of scientific knowledge and of course adapt a resilient solution to energy utilization which is more eco-friendly. Humankind adopting tools that are technological eccentric. In all this, producing sustainable energy is still remains the key determinant. Indeed, energy today plays a key role in deciding levels of development. The per capita consumption of energy is now seen as a measure of economic growth and social progress of individuals, be it the societies or nations if could achieve their monumental objectives, for equitable development and more energy efficiency, it is essential that accessibility to appropriate availability of energy sources should be guaranteed to all people, even at free cost if it is possible. However, with nearly half the world's population surviving on less than two US dollars a day, so therefore access to availability of energy sources continue to elude many a developing nations in this regard.

    The dire situation which accompanied by socioeconomic stagnant in most African countries is compounded by the fact that the majority of the rural population in developing nations, especially in Namibia, is still dependent on traditional fuels, which at its best only meets basic human consumption, but does not provide or improve the quality of lives of the poor who are always marginalized communities.Therefore, to ensure equitable development within and among the communities, we have to work towards equitable and sustainable energy development to distribute the availability of appropriate energy sources, while impacting no destructive effects on biosphere (ecosystem) or deplete already existing nonrenewable energies like fossil fuels (hydrocarbons). In modern era of globalization and aggressive industrialization attaining these eco-friendly principles has became illusive goal. Indeed, globalization offers immense possibilities of all nations developed/developing to work together in the energy projects for mutual advantage.

    Noddy Hipangelwa Deputy Director For Renewable Energy explaining the urgent need for sustainable energy.
    Developed countries have access to technology, financial resources and expertise while developing countries offer an expanding market for energy sources, thus it is advisable for African nations to indulge in energy cooperation. Economic liberalization and globalization have led to an increasing demand for energy to run industry, to create infrastructure and to meet rising domestic requirements. This has further strengthened the case for partnership in the energy sector.  Namibia, determined to keep pace with the rest of the world and ensure rapid socio-economic development, have taken several significant steps in the energy sector. Extensive power sector reforms have been undertaken and a regulatory mechanism established to optimise the electricity sector, for fixing tariffs and ensuring quality supply. There is no cap on foreign direct investment in power generation.

    Namibia set eyes on cleaner energies: According to Namibian environmental legislation which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia (Art. 95) on environmental considerations, especially the promotion of renewable energies.  "Energy in Namibia should be adequate, equitable and sustainable in the development". We have to focus on the agreed principles of collective endeavour as laid down in the Rio Declaration-1992 on Environment and Development. The first principle of the Declaration states: "Human beings are at the center of concern for sustainable development". In this spirit it has to be concluded that the number one priority for the development of sustainable energy for all is to link all remote villages and extend the accessibility to energy. It has been estimated that, the population of the world in the next two decades to come will double, and this trend is repition.  A country like Namibia has abundant renewable energy sources like solar, wind, tidal waves for turbines especially the roughness associates with Atlantic ocean's current waves bioenergy. By 2020 these resources could contribute up to 20% of the national electricity production.

    Within the next few years in span, technologies like wind, solar hydro and bioenergy (algae) could become a center stage with economically viable without any subsidies, several energy consortium have realized the need of investment into renewable resources. The success in meeting the energy requirements for the coming extra billion people on the planet in the next two decades should be regarded as the first test of sustainability of our collective global energy development efforts. This is an opportunity and a challenge for both developed and developing nations alike to establish environmentally sustainable energy systems for the "Twenty-first Century".

    The "Rio Declaration" further says: "All states and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development in order to decrease the disparities in standard of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world. The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given priority". Any development agenda, whether global, national or corporate, therefore, should be framed in mind these principles that form, what can be described as the "global ethics" of development.

    People-centred energy goals should be fundamental to energy business in the Twenty-first Century. This will call for comprehensive national, regional and global policy initiatives to encourage reform, augment infrastructure, upgrade technologies and introduce new technologies. Above all, they have to balance environment as well as development concerns of different economies in harmony with their unique economic and social as well as environmental requirements. Energy concerns across the world are marked by a certain amount of variance in priorities. Developed nations are seized with environmental implications of energy concerns. On the other hand, developing nations are focused on ensuring that their peoples have access to basic minimum tools for securing their livelihood, including access to appropriate energy supply. But, even developing nations cannot escape environmental concerns. 

    Many people in developing countries are suffering from ecological stress. Even after a decade of declining poverty in many nations, 1,2 billion people lack access to clean water and hundreds of millions breathe unhealthy air. The sign of ecological decline ranges from deforestation and desertification to the extinctions of many animal species. Environmental degradation is worsening many natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. Population growth has led people to settle in flood prone valleys and unstable hillsides, where deforestation and climate change have increased the vulnerability of disasters like hurricanes. The arctic ice cap has already thinned by 42 percent and 27 percent of the world's coral reefs have been lost.The choice is whether to move forward rapidly to build a sustainable economy or to risk allowing the expansion in human numbers, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and the loss of natural ecosystems. Also Namibia had to make this choice. Therefore, Namibia made renewable energies a case of high priority.

    Windpower (turbines) is world wide and the most advanced and widely available renewable energies.
    Wind Power: The first wind power park or off-shore wind plantations have been identified as the most integral component that can alleviate energy shortage in sub-Saharan Africa.  Wind turbines is under design in Namibia (10 MW to 20 MW for Lüderitz wind plantation) The $180M Lüderitz wind power project is nearing on its completion. The very first wind farm in Namibia, being built by Innosun Energy Holdings, will add 5MW of electricity to the national power grid. The new Namibian Electricity Act, No. 2 of 2000, makes provision that the transmission operator (NamPower) is under obligation to take the windpower for a fixed tariff which has to be regulated by the Namibian "Electricity Control Board (ECB)". After implementation of the "Single Buyer" principle, the situation will, however, change. The Government of the Republic of Namibia has decided to make the state owned Namibian enterprise NamPower the "Single Buyer". 

    Windpower is world wide the most advanced and commercially available of all renewable energies. Windpower is getting cheaper and more efficient through new technologies by the day and are a very logical solution for the Namibian energy market, with the aid of technological development and economy of scale a niche may yet be found for offshore turbine design.It is paramount for the cost effectiveness of the wind turbines to be located at sites with favourable wind climate. Since the majority of modern wind turbines are connected to a grid, most of the electricity produced can be utilized straight away. It is therefore logical to exploit each good site in the most optimal way, in order to achieve a low cost per KWh produced, erecting wind turbines in groups (parks), known as wind farms. This practice also reduces the cost of infrastructure such as civil infrastructure and grid connection. 

    The ground covered by the turbines is equally 1 % of the total area of wind farm, and therefore other activities may be combined with wind energy production. A large growth in commercialization of MW-scale turbines seems to be taking shape in Namibia's energy safe house, and they are increasingly being used in of-shore projects.  In the last 10 years the specific investment in renewable resources has been increased. At the same time the performance and efficiency has also improve significantly. These developments have reduced the cost of wind power to a level that is on the verge of being competitive with electricity from fossil fuels. In the future "green" taxation can improve the competitiveness of wind power as well as other renewable resources. 

    In pursuit of the global trend towards the supply of cleaner energy, which is a high priority of the Government of the Republic of Namibia, NamPower in conjunction with the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Electricity Control Board (ECB) investigated the construction of a pilot wind park in the vicinity of Lüderitz. During the pilot phase, the wind park will generate between 3 and 10 MW   and will be later expanded to as much as 20 MW. This project will also be a step towards achieving the goals of Namibian Energy Policy which aims to produce 100 % of peak energy demands and 75 % of its energy total demands within its borders by the year 2020.

    After careful analysis and the necessary investigations of obvious environmental impacts by an Environmental Investigation Assessment (EIA)(with investigated impacts on vegetation, landscape, birds and socio-economic considerations), it was decided that the Grosse Bucht near Lüderitz was the most acceptable location for the installation. The proposed construction site lies along a ridge top, and covers an area of approx. 2 km² with the centre of the area located approx. 10,5 km south-south-east of Lüderitz.The initial project will comprise 5 to 6 Wind Energy Converters (WECs) with an output of approx. 3 MW. This will later be extended to a capacity of 10 MW. The WECs comprise towers 30 m high onto which the WECs are mounted driven by three bladed propellers of 40 m in diametre rotating at a speed of 25 rpm. The individual WECs will be spaced at approx. 50 to 60 m apart. If the pilot project becomes successful, the project will be expanded to as many as 32 WECs to generate as much as 20 MW. NamPower will also build a 66 kV power line to connect the wind park to the national grid.It can be expected that the first Namibian windpower (5MW Ombepo Wind Farm) will be commissioned by year 2019 probably.

    Image result for solar technology in Namibia photos

    Solar Home System Installation at Omusati Region under Ministry of Mines and Energy, sponsored from Solar Revolving Fund (SRF)
    Solar Energy: Namibia has one of the highest solar radiation regimes in the world. It is therefore logical to make use of the abundance of photovoltaic energy, and in fact this is done in the last forty years or so. Solar energy is increasingly used for off-grid electrification in the vast rural and until independence neglected areas in the country. The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) is the sole administrator of the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF). The SRF is a credit facility established by MME to stimulate demand for the utilization of renewable energy technologies in the rural areas, especially for communities living in off-grid areas, but also to urban clients. The SRF is an element of the Off-Grid Energisation Master Plan for Namibia (OGEMP) whose objective is to provide access to appropriate energy technologies to rural areas.The first two villages have been totally energized by solar power (with Indian donor assistance), namely Spitzkoppe village and Shianshuli in the Caprivi Region. With increasing efficiency and new photovoltaic technologies solar power will be continued to be used in Namibia. The photovoltaic (PV) effect, that is, the physical phenomena transforming light directly to electrostatic energy, was first discovered by the French physicist Edmund Becquerel in 1839. He observed that illumination of two identical electrodes in a low-conductivity electrolyte gave rise to an electric voltage between them. When light is absorbed in a semi-conductor an electric voltage is created, and if an external circuit is connected to the semi-conductor the voltage will drive a current through the circuit.
    Image result for Namibian biogas plants photos

    Bioenergy: Bio-energy (from the ancient Greek bios, life) is the energy derives from organic materials, such as wood, agricultural crops or organic waste. It usually obtained from grown organic material, known as biomass, as opposed to fossil fuel. Bioenergy can be used for electricity, heating, cooling and transport. It can be used in liquid forms such as biofuels, in gaseous forms like biogas. Bioenergy has started its advent in Namibia. The first Namibian biogas plants (again with Indian donor assistance) are in operation. Bioenergy is energy from the burning of biomass or a derivative of biomass and biosolar technology. Biomass is based on all sorts of biological material: Wood palates, manure, agricultural waste and so forth. The derivatives include vegetable oil, ethanol and gas from anaerobic decomposition. The burning of waste can also be included in the term bioenergy. The most common use is directly as heat, but biomass may also be used to fuel engines or turbines to produce electricity. The burning of biomass releases the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere as the wood has bound when growing. Sustainable use of bioenergy does not give a net increase in release of the greenhouse gas CO2. Combustion of bio-fuels typically gives 20 - 40 % lower emissions of NOx than fossil fuels, and emissions of soot and particles from larger biofuelled heating plants are comparable to those from oil fuelled plants.

    Historically, bioenergy has been our most important energy source. It was therefore not a coincidence that the first engines constructed by Rudolf Diesel in 1893 were designed to run on vegetable oils. At that time, few if any, could imagine the impact that petroleum products would have on energy use in the 20th century. Today bioenergy covers 15 % of the world's energy demand and is the most important energy source for half the world population. Bioenergy has a dominant position for the poorest people in the world, who are dependent on woodfuel for cooking and heating. However, cooking over an open fire makes use of only 5 % of the energy in firewood, and consequently the workload of collecting firewood may in many instances be reduced by introducing more efficient stove-technology

    Africa Recruitment  Image result for NamPower logo photos

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