MME successfully opens electricity market to allow new entrants

Mines and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo on Monday said the ministry has successfully opened its electricity market to allow new entrants, new investment opportunities, as well as new technical possibilities for the electricity supply industry.

Alweendo during the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Market Access Conference in Windhoek said that locally, the MSB model allows certain electricity consumers and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to transact with each other directly for the supply of a certain portion of their electricity requirement.

“Under the MSB, all transmission-connected customers such as the Regional Electricity Distribution (REDs), local authorities in non-REDs areas, mines, and large distribution-connected customers are allowed to buy a portion of their electricity from local IPPs. At a cross-border level, the MSB also allows for IPPs to set up in Namibia specifically for electricity export purposes,” the minister said.

During the same event, SAPP Coordination Centre Executive Director Stephen Dihwa stated that SAPP was established in 1995 to enhance the cooperation between the SADC member countries in the electricity sector. SAPP has over the years been able to develop regional master plans for power generation and transmission, the last one having been released in 2018. A process of revising it has been initiated.

“The SAPP has grown over time by increasing its staff complement and activities, progressing from a cooperative pool to a competitive electricity trading market and in the process adapting to the requisite technological changes. This has been achieved in part, due to the political support enjoyed through the SADC structures and utility support through its own,” Dihwa said.

Furthermore, Federico Berna, who is part of the European Union delegation stated that the Southern Africa region has significant renewable energy resources, like solar, wind hydro, however, these resources are not evenly distributed.

In this context, regional power pools in Africa play a key role to integrate national power systems and harmonising regulatory and operational frameworks.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency