Renewable energy conference looms

A conference aimed at initiating and promoting the utilisation of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as technology transfer has been scheduled for next week.
This comes as Namibia is finalising the development of three national policies that seek to prioritise renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The conference, which will take place from the 6th to the 9th September under the theme ‘Opportunities for Renewable Energy Generation in Namibia’, will be hosted by the South African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), the German Embassy in Namibia and German firm, Energy Solution.
Jens Hauser, who will be heading and coordinating the German delegation, told the Windhoek Observer that the aim of the initiative is to promote the utilisation of renewable energy and technology transfer, and thus help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
He said the conference provides an opportunity for German companies to form new business contacts within the local market.
The delegation will consist of seven German renewable energy companies active in the field of photovoltaic, solar thermal, biomass/biogas and wind energy, and three German energy experts, who will make presentations at the conference.
In recent months, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has guided the development of three important national policies, namely the Independent Power Producers (IPP) Policy, the Renewable Energy Policy (REP) and a review and update of the National Energy Policy (NEP).
These policies are expected to better serve the country’s dire need for alternative sources of electricity, apart from regional imports, and attract investment in the form of public-private partnerships, specifically in the renewable energy sector.  
The ministry is also in the process of finalising a National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP), which is an electricity sector planning tool, covering a 20-year period, outlining all the feasible and least costly generation and supply options, their capacities and envisaged deployment dates.
Expectations are high that the conference will present an opportunity for the formation of several Namibian-German business partnerships, knowledge transfer, in terms of the latest technology, products and services that have arisen from Germany’s advanced experience in renewables.
“We do not consider teaching or lecturing Namibians about renewable energy, since the topic of renewables is anything, but new in Namibia,” Hauser said.
“We have targeted Namibian renewable energy companies and potential users of renewable energy technology, mainly for industrial and commercial self-supply.”
The delegation includes technology/component manufacturers, such as SunSet Solar, BAE Batteries, engineering and system solution providers, New Energy, InTech, Cuss, SunSet, SaEnergy and independent power producer investor Global Renewable Independent Power Supplier (GRIPS) Energy.
On the issue of tangible deals that could be signed during the visit, Hauser said next week’s meeting is not an investor conference.
“It is rather a technology and solution conference; also the inflow of investment depends on business opportunities and partnership formation.”
The conference and delegation were being sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy’s initiative Energy Solutions made in Germany.
The Electricity Control Board (ECB), in a recent interview with the Windhoek Observer said the IPP framework was finalised at the end of July and had been handed to Mines and Energy Minister Obeth Kandjoze for his approval, before he presents it to Cabinet.
The NIRP and the REP were also being finalised, with the process expected to be concluded by the end of August, before following the same approval process.
The electricity regulator said the NEP review and update would take a bit longer to finalise, as they had just completed the first stakeholder workshop, and the second workshop was scheduled for November.
The finalisation of this policy is scheduled for March next year.