Green People’s Energy for Africa (GBE) aims to improve the conditions for decentralised energy supply in rural areas, primarily involving citizens and businesses. To this end, we are working in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Namibia, Green People’s Energy promotes the access and use of renewable energy for the population in rural areas. The initiative provides advisory services to actors at different levels. At the policy level, GBE advises decision-makers on how to improve the framework conditions for an expansion of decentralised renewable energies. In order to improve the quality of installation and maintenance of RE systems in rural areas, the training offer for specialists from local companies is being expanded. Rural potential productive users of RE, such as small and micro enterprises and social institutions, will be supported in meeting their energy needs with a solar system. Solar companies will be incentivised through a results-based financing mechanism to expand their distribution structures into rural areas.
…Namibia could cover a large part of its electricity needs from the production of solar and wind power instead of importing electricity from abroad.
…only 53% of the population has access to electricity, of which 77% of Namibia’s urban inhabitants benefit from this but only 29% of its rural inhabitants. (UN data, 2017).
…even where the grid is available, 30-40% of households do not have access to electricity (World Bank estimates).
GBE in Namibia works closely with existing GIZ programmes already on the ground supporting rural value chains, the private sector, and the education sector. Other project partners include the Ministry of Energy and Mines, regional energy suppliers, civil society organisations, private sector associations, and companies in the renewable energy (RE) sector.
The target groups are farms, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), solar companies and social institutions such as schools in rural areas.
Improving training opportunities for skilled workers in rural areas
To strengthen the competencies of qualified workers in rural areas for the operation and maintenance of RE systems, a new training programme for experts and managers is being set up in cooperation with the Eenhana Vocational School. The competence centre will be equipped with new training material and the teachers will be trained in the field of solar energy.
Promoting productive use of RE technologies by rural MSMEs and social institutions
To promote the use of decentralised RE systems, GBE provides technical and financial support to farmers and MSMEs in planning and acquiring RE technologies. A results-based financing (RBF) mechanism promotes the sale of RE systems for productive use. Participating enterprises receive financial incentives for each eligible device (solar pump, solar refrigerator or freezer, solar mill, etc.) that is sold commercially to end users and installed. The incentive payment aims to be used to sell equipment to end customers at a reduced price, to explore the market and to expand distribution structures into rural areas in the medium term.
In addition, 20 schools are getting access to electricity with GBE support. Different models for long-term maintenance and financing are being tested. The pilot projects are intended to show how schools can be sustainably electrified. More than 200 schools across the country are still without electricity.
Advise political partners on improved framework conditions for RE expansion
In order to improve the framework conditions for the expansion of decentralised renewable energy systems, the project is planning a policy dialogue with the Ministry of Energy and the regional energy suppliers to clarify the distribution of roles among the actors in the expansion of mini-grids. Furthermore, the energy supplier will receive consulting services and training to develop sustainable business models for mini-grids. Project developers are supported in developing bankable project concepts.
A new Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) financing window is being developed to provide end-users, especially women farmers and rural businesses, with access to credit for the purchase of RE equipment.