Namibia is set to boost energy supply into rural areas through solar mini-grid project. IBC SOLAR will partner with the University of Bayreuth, the Technical University of Ingolstadt and the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences to create the pilot project.
The project dubbed ‘PROCEED’ is aimed at achieving a sustainable improvement in the energy supply based on renewable energy. The system house will be primarily responsible for the technical appraisal and long-term monitoring of existing systems during the project. This also includes developing system improvements for storage and control systems and delivering the corresponding components.
Solar mini-grid project
The decentralized power grids restricted to smaller areas will be operated by local providers and are not embedded into a unified nationwide integrated grid. In cooperation with Namibian partners, decentralized models for the energy infrastructure will be developed in the future, which correspond to the local electricity demand, making use of current technical possibilities and are accepted by the rural population. These island grids ought to be economically viable and easy to maintain.
There will be research done for the project which will be by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) with approximately US $1.24m in the next three years.
“We are very pleased to be helping the universities implement this project with our expertise and products. The project contains promising solutions which can also be used to improve the energy supply in other rural areas of Africa cost-effectively and efficiently, Solar power is now cheaper than electricity from the grid and the PV market in Southern Africa has significant growth potential,” said Albert Engelbrecht, Senior Vice President Solutions International at IBC SOLAR.
More than half of Namibia’s rural population has no access to electricity. Connecting households to the national power grid is neither technically nor economically practical in many parts of the country. The lack of access to electricity is one of the main drawbacks in the efforts to reduce poverty and achieve industrialization.