May 5

Solar Grid-Tied Solutions: Good for the Environment, Good for Business


The benefits of Renewable Energy, especially Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems are gradually being understood and taken advantage of by individuals and businesses alike. Individuals and Organizations in Namibia are now starting to install Solar PV systems on their premises not only to manage their operational costs but to generate clear power that is good for the environment.

Namibia is a net importer of electricity and events outside of the country will always influence the price that Namibians pay for the cost of this basic commodity. It is a developmental challenge to not have full control of one’s electricity generational capacity, a situation we continue to find ourselves in 32 years into our democracy, despite, our abundant natural resources. It is also widely known that land and ocean temperatures have been exponentially increasing due in part to the generations of electricity from non-environmentally friendly sources. These increases have a disproportionate effect on weather patterns all around the world, Namibia included. The 2019 drought is a case in point.

Individuals and business are thus obliged to consider going green. Green wherever possible by installing Solar PV systems for example. A Solar PV system allows a household or a business to manage the money that is utilized on electricity. Such a system puts the control of spending back into the hands of the household/business owner(s). With payback periods of less than 5 years, households and business can make sound investments that will enable them to invest now and save in the long run. Advancements in Storage technologies coupled with reduction in costs are additional benefits for both household and businesses to further reduce their dependency on expensive, non-environmentally friendly electricity generated from non-renewable sources.

Electricity regulators in the SADC region also understand the benefits of green technologies and the Namibian Electricity regulator, the Electricity Control Board (ECB) is to be commended for developing policies that promote the use of green technologies. The recently gazetted Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Model is a case in point. This MSB policy takes some of the responsibility of generating electricity away from the national utility (Nampower) and puts it in the market where businesses can benefit from competitively priced electricity that is generated using technologies that are good for the environment.

The Government’s Harambe Prosperity Plan II’s Green Hydrogen drive is another good initiative that is only going to accelerate the update and usage of green technology in Namibia.

Local PV Engineering, Procurement and Construct (EPC) Companies like Lights Systems Namibia (LSN) have been at the forefront of installation PV systems that are environmentally friendly. LSN has been installing Grid connected systems for household and business around the country for the past couple of years of various sizes and complexity. The owners of these systems have been enjoying the benefits derived from their systems with the payback period of their systems even reduced further due to continues increases in electricity prices Amongst LSN’s list of clientele are private business, government agencies and NGO’s. LSN has also carried out projects in the SADC region, the most recent being the design and installation of a Off-Grid system to power a capital project in neighboring Botswana. LSN also installs Off-Grid Solar PV systems for households and business that do no have access to the Grid. LSN is ready to push forward with this drive toward a green future in Namibia.

• Paulus Mulunga is CEO and co-founder of Light Systems Namibia, a renewable energy company focused on solar PV solutions. Light Systems Namibia provides sustainable renewable energy solutions for businesses and residences.

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