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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051

Abstract

LE FOL, Y  and  NDHLUKULA, K. Potential and future of concentrating solar power in Namibia. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2013, vol.24, n.1, pp. 00-00. ISSN 2413-3051.

The Namibian electricity sector has mainly relied on electricity imports from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) over the last decade. However, a growth in electricity demand and scarce import options could cause energy shortages. Therefore, new power plants ought to be commissioned in the near future to avoid the forecasted energy crisis. In this context, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) generation is regarded as an appropriate alternative to conventional energy technologies, particularly for the excellent solar regime available in Namibia. The study presents a GIS analysis that identifies suitable areas for CSP establishment. A broad range of geographical parameters such as solar radiation, topography, hydrology or land use are examined. The calculations show that the CSP ceiling generation in Namibia is equivalent to 70% of the worldwide electricity production. Moreover, the study offers a scenario analysis where concrete CSP alternatives are compared to coal-fired plant projects developed by the national power utility. Meteonorm and System Advisor Model (SAM) are used to design CSP alternatives located in the area offering the best combination between high solar irradiation and short distances to the infrastructures. Despite the affordability concern which has to be addressed with sound financial instruments, CSP represents a seminal opportunity for the energy sector in Namibia.

Keywords : Namibia; concentrating solar power; GIS; ceiling generation; levelized cost of electricity mapping; scenario analysis.

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