Namibia stresses green hydrogen ambitions, plans

24th March 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Namibia aims to become the sustainability hub of Africa and the first carbon-neutral country on the continent. This was highlighted this month by Namibia Investment Promotion & Development Board executive director: investments and new ventures François van Schalkwyk. He was addressing an Invest in Namibia Roundtable, a side event of the Africa Energy Indaba, which was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

“We believe that our energy mix will be predominantly green by 2040,” he reported. “Namibia has high, constant wind speeds, particularly on the south coast. It has the highest potential [in the world] for PV (photovoltaic solar) output.”

NamPower, the country’s national electricity utility, started its first renewable energy project ten years ago, pointed out NamPower executive: modified single buyer Kandali Iyambo, addressing the same roundtable. Currently, the country has to import 50% to 60%, and even on occasion 70%, of its electricity from the neighbouring countries of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. But Namibia now has 160 MW of renewable energy capacity on line (generated by independent power producers, or IPPs), with another 214 MW in the pipeline (that will be produced by both IPPs and NamPower). These renewable projects include both wind and PV plants.

“We have a dream, as Namibia, to be [energy] self-sufficient,” she said. But the country intended to maintain its interconnector network with its neighbours and continue to support regional energy interdependence. She cautioned that an electricity grid could not operate optimally with only renewable energy sources. Baseload power was needed and the country was looking at implementing a baseload power plant that could make use of the country’s own hydrocarbon resources.

One key function of renewable energy in Namibia would be to produce green hydrogen and ammonia, stressed Van Schalkwyk. Initial production of green hydrogen was expected to begin in 2026. The first full-scale plant should be completely operational by 2030. It would have a 5 GW capacity renewable energy supply, as well as 3 GW from electrolysis and produce up to 300 000 t/y of green hydrogen and/or ammonia.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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