German solar industry supports Namibian association

Within the framework of an intensive association partnership between the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) and the Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN), targeted capacity building for the interest group in the South African country is to take place in the coming months. The focus of the project, which is funded by Green People’s Energy, is deliberately on the involvement of smaller companies and civic actors in rural Namibia. The aim is to get a foothold for the energy transition.

The association for the renewable energy sector based in the Namibian capital Windhoek is still in its infancy compared to its German “sister association”, but it has ambitious goals. Namibia is rapidly developing into a key player in renewable energies and wants to become a hub for the international hydrogen economy in the future. The country offers excellent conditions for this, because the conditions for producing green hydrogen from solar and wind energy are ideal here.

However, a broad strata of the economy as well of the society should benefit from the development in Namibia. “Our goal at REIAoN is therefore to win over new member companies in rural areas that are already successfully involved in photovoltaics, solar batteries or bioenergy, for example, as small installation companies,” says REIAoN board member Paulus Mulunga.

In doing so, the BSW will specifically support the Namibian association in recruiting members: “The BSW was also once a small association that had to fight for every new member and every support. Therefore, we know the challenges very well. We gained experience and ideas back then that we are now passing on to our Namibian colleagues,” says Ronald Upmann, project manager for the association partnership at BSW.

However, the acquisition of new members in rural areas is not the only measure that both partners want to implement within the framework of the project, which will run until mid-2023. REIAoN and BSW want to jointly ensure that the successes are not of a temporary nature and therefore put the association on a solid economic footing as sustainably as possible. This is to be helped by the development of additional sources of income through member services and other services. Here, too, the German trade association has a lot of experience, which is now being passed on and jointly implemented.

At the end of August, Paulus Mulunga visited the BSW in Berlin and learned about the association’s work on site. Mulunga visited the EUREF campus and the “House of Renewable Energies”, which is home to the Solar Energy Association BSW together with other sectoral associations of the German renewable energy industry and the umbrella organisation BEE. Mulunga was impressed by the campus and its possibilities as well as the ideal environment for association cooperation. Many new ideas also emerged during this meeting, which are to be implemented in the coming months.

Photo: REIAoN board member Paulus Mulunga (left) with BSW project manager Ronald Upmann (right) during the association’s visit to Berlin.