Electricity in Namibia

Electricity in Namibia
Electricity in Namibia
Local power is Namibia is supplied by a very limited number of power plants, as shown in Figure 3. The most important is the Ruacana power plant on the Kunene River, on the border with Angola. The plant was constructed during the 1970s, and entered service in 1980. It originally had three Francis turbines, and supplied an output of 249MW. However a fourth 92MW unit was recently added to the plant, entering in service in 2012, and pushing overall generating capacity to 341MW. The project was partly funded by a loan from the Development Finance Institution.
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Summary

Namibia has a stable and growing economy, which is spurring electricity demand growth. However the country has limited installed generating capacity, and has to import over half of its electricity from neighbouring countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This has led to blackouts in the past and the national utility, Nampower, wants to expand its own generating capacity to prevent future shortfalls. Although relatively rich, the country does not have the resources to build the required new capacity - without foreign aid or investment. Access to electricity in Namibia is good compared to many of its neighbours, with 98% of urban dwellers having access, and up to 40% of rural communities. Extension of the grid is bringing power to more of the latter, and this is adding upward pressure on demand. Meanwhile the county has hydropower, and potentially both coal and natural gas reserves - which could be used to generate power. Other renewable sources including wind and solar power are being developed, but at a relatively slow pace.

This report is a Country Profile, covering:
  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment opportunities
  • Future project plans

Scope

  • An overview of the electricity market in Namibia.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • The consumption of refined petroleum products is 22,990bbl/d, all of which is imported.
  • Natural gas reserves were put at 36.81bn m3 in 2013.
  • Wind potential in Namibia is significant, with sites already surveyed showing average wind speeds of over 8m/s, and some sites with average wind speeds as high as 15m/s.
  • Since local production is unable to meet demand, Namibia imports more than half of its power from utilities in neighbouring countries.
  • The total length of 330kV lines is 522km, while the length of 220kV line is 2,911km.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Namibia generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the national electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Namibia?

Date Published / Pages / Format

February, 2014 / 27 pages / PDF