Development of a Renewable Energy Policy for Namibia



3E, in partnership with Pegasys, Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services, and the Namibia Development Trust, has started a challenging project to develop a national Renewable Energy Policy for Namibia, taking into account a wealth of pre-existing work that represents a strong foundation for the policy. It is clear that the RE Policy developed through this project should be informed by recent developments, projections, trends, up-to-date technological analysis, and relevant government reports and plans that have been developed in recent years. The policy developed should also balance the input and expertise from key industry stakeholders including ECB, NamPower, Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs), National Planning Commission (NPC), Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), and others. Lastly, it should reflect international best practice in clean energy policy and should derive lessons from successful policy mechanisms used abroad to accelerate clean energy deployment, viewed through the lens of feasibility and capacity in Namibia.

The RE Policy developed through this process will evolve into an instrument that will be considered by Parliament. Therefore it includes the preparation of an implementation plan to empower the ECB to give effect to the policy. The RE Policy will need to take into account key drivers such as:

  • Electricity supply and funding constraints coupled with growing demand
  • An evolving electricity market structure that needs to enable Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
  • Historical dependence on regional imports despite an abundance of renewable energy resources
  • Geographic limitations and low population density especially in some parts of the country
  • Global trend and pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Challenge of balancing cost-reflective tariffs while ensuring affordable electricity for low-income customers
  • Namibia’s aspiration of universal electricity access and the ending of energy poverty, in line with Vision 2030 and the country’s broader development agenda

The content of the Renewable Energy Policy will be shaped largely by a Needs and Gap Analysis process. A thorough review of existing policies and those under development (particularly the Energy Policy) will be critical inputs to ensure that the Renewable Energy Policy is consistent with the existing direction articulated in parallel policy and planning documents. Conversations with stakeholders and experts will provide the team with guidance on issues not already covered in existing policies, or help establish the preferred direction when there is ambiguity or uncertainty between documents.
A key goal of the Renewable Energy Policy will be to find a balance in providing clarity for the renewable energy sector without being too prescriptive. In other words, the Renewable Energy Policy aims to encourage growth of the energy sector and allow it to evolve as technology advances. The Renewable Energy Policy should provide guidance for many years to come, and will likely require some updates to regulations and legislation to keep up with the changing industry.