NAMIBIA: AfDB finances the electrification of 50,000 households in Windhoek

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NAMIBIA: AfDB finances the electrification of 50,000 households in Windhoek © AS photo family/Shutterstock

At least 50,000 households in Windhoek, Namibia, will have access to electricity thanks to a 60 MWp solar photovoltaic plant financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The African Development Bank (AfDB) wants to support the electrification of Namibia. Its Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) is allocating $485,000 (N$8.8 million) to the construction of a photovoltaic solar power plant in the city of Windhoek. The facility, which will have a capacity of 60 MWp, will provide lighting for 200,000 people in the Namibian capital.

In this southern African country where, according to the World Bank, almost 20% of the population still has no access to electricity, the initiative will connect several informal settlements to the national electricity grid and “unlock the economic potential to improve living conditions for local people. This will be achieved through “the development of a comprehensive structural plan involving a participatory process to identify and prioritise the investment opportunities unlocked by electrification, for example, water, roads and mobility, green areas, business opportunities”, says Windhoek City Council.

For its part, the UMDF representative indicated that this solar project, which is due to start up before 2024, will pave the way for a city that is “more resistant to climate change and resilient in the face of poverty through job creation”. In addition, the initiative, which is part of the Electrification and Modernisation of Informal Installations Programme supported by the AfDB, will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which have been exacerbated in recent years by the use of fossil fuels.

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This is also why the Namibian government wants to speed up the diversification of its national electricity mix by giving more space to renewable energies. To this end, the Namibian authorities have selected a company to build a 25 MW photovoltaic solar power plant in the second half of 2021 as part of a public-private partnership (PPP) with the municipality of Windhoek. The plant will require an investment of 420 million Namibian dollars, more than 29 million US dollars.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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