Mnyupe bets on solar, wind for green hydrogen
Namibia has sufficient renewable energy resources to develop its green hydrogen programme, the green hydrogen commissioner said. Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo: Contributed

Mnyupe bets on solar, wind for green hydrogen

Green hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe says Namibia has been able to achieve cost competitiveness in the solar energy space, and has the most competitive prices across the continent. According to him, this should be sufficient to power Namibia’s green hydrogen agenda.

Mnyupe added that Namibia’s potential to leverage its wind and solar energy is sufficient to power its green hydrogen ambitions, with 15 to 20 million tonnes of hydrogen equivalent being targeted by 2050.

This follows a recent report by the AfricaMaVal and German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources which spotlighted potential shortcomings that may hinder the success and implementation of Namibia’s green hydrogen ambitions.

“Recent studies have shown Namibia's emergence as a solar leader, with solar energy accounting for a quarter of its electricity mix within a decade,” Mnyupe said of efforts to efficiently produce hydrogen equivalent.

The ground is fertile to turn Namibia into an industry leader in the green hydrogen industry.

“The renewable energy capacity in Namibia can thus lead to a high electrolyser capacity. The concern regarding inconsistent power availability is being actively addressed through comprehensive initiatives. The meteorological mast campaign launched by Hyphen Hydrogen Energy for wind energy is testament to our proactive approach in harnessing wind resources,” he said.

According to him, Namibia is reaping the benefits of private investment in solar power, encouraged by feed-in tariff schemes and competitive auctions, which have led to the establishment of 20 independent solar projects by 2018.

Wind as an energy source

Commenting on the potential for wind energy, Mnyupe explained that Namibia is equally optimally positioned to leverage the renewable energy source.

“Lüderitz is currently leading Namibia in harnessing natural energy through wind turbines, with just three turbines meeting 80% of the town’s energy demands. Hence, the installation of 100 to 300 more turbines could provide sufficient energy not only for Lüderitz, but also for the //Karas Region and other areas of Namibia,” he said.

Lüderitz’s location also lent it to favourable conditions to generate sufficient electricity, Mnyupe noted.

“Lüderitz stands out as a prime location for wind energy, with wind velocities ranging from six to seven metres per second, occasionally reaching up to 12 metres per second. Solar photovoltaics (PV) are also abundant throughout the country, with capacity factors averaging around 30 to 36%."

The report further brought into question the scale of the projects being envisaged for Namibia, saying such ambitious plans have yet to be implemented here.

“Industrial production in such a scale as envisaged has never been done before and although the process should be scalable, it is not clear whether the production of wind energy during the nights is sufficient to compensate for solar energy, which cannot be produced during the night. This could probably lead to higher than expected costs and lower than expected production,” the report noted.


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