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Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga recently launched the Green People’s Energy (GPE) project (under the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) of the ministry. The GPE is a joint initiative between Germany, through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and Namibia.
The SRF provides credit facility help that facilitates the deployment of clean energy technologies for the off-grid communities in rural areas, as well as in peri-urban areas. It offers IPPs working in the renewable energy sector with subsidized loans at a 5% interest rate per annum over five years.
The SRF fund finances renewable energy technologies including solar home systems, photovoltaic water pumps, and solar water heaters. The project aims to strengthen the clean energy sector in Namibia by promoting off-grid rural electrification.
“The project aims to contribute to universal and sustainable energy access for the people of Namibia. GIZ has provided financial assistance to the tune of €330 000 to the SRF for the new funding window,” Shilunga said.
Shilunga also noted that electricity is an engine of economic growth and a key input of production, where its limited access compromises the socio-economic development of communities.
The Deputy Director of the SRF, Ishuna Amakutsi, said that since the introduction of the SRF fund in 1996, it was under the private sector before the Ministry of Mines and Energy took over in 2011. Since then the fund has provided funding to 4,500 individuals and businesses to the tune of N$128 million (~ $8.6 million). In the 2021/22 financial year, the repayment rate from clients was at 86%.
The rural electrification rate of Namibia is 20%. Namibia’s household national data notes out of 235,884 total rural households, 35,855 are connected to the power grid, while 18,324 households have access to solar energy.