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Facing hippos and elephants while transporting solar equipment to remote safari lodges by boat and 4×4 became all in a day’s work for the SolarSaver team when they recently installed battery-solar off-grid systems at the remote Nambwa Tented Lodge and Kazile Island Lodge in Namibia for African Monarch Lodges.
Oil and gas exploration company ReconAfrica has so far drilled and installed 36 solar-powered water wells in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions at the tune of N$21 million. The company has been in the media for its oil and gas exploration activities in the region, with environmental activists voicing concern about the impact this will have.
The deputy director of the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) has called on small and medium business operators in Namibia to apply for the installation of solar energy. The SRF is a credit facility established by the ministry in 1996 to stimulate the use of renewable energy, mostly by people living in off-grid areas.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Bryan Eiseb, has announced that the Solar Revolving Fund (SRF) aims to finance 400 off-grid households during the current financial year. Solar Revolving Fund offers subsidised loans to Namibian citizens at an interest rate of five percent per annum over a five-year period.
Namibia has been sold to the world as having the best sunlight for solar energy, but not many households have set up solar panels on their roofs. Data from the Namibia Statistics Agency shows that less than 10% of households use solar energy. This is despite constant complaints about the ever-increasing cost of electricity over the past years.
Namibia is among a few countries in Africa where the production of solar modules is already cost-competitive with equivalent manufacturing in China. Despite a complicated investment environment, manufacturing on the continent is growing fast with sub-Saharan Africa recording a four-fold increase in value since the turn of the century.
Namibia’s solar market is booming with the country attracting fresh investments and new players. With a focus on both grid-connected and off-grid projects, the country aims to connect 80% of its population to renewables by 2025.
Namibia has made tremendous progress lately towards attaining its targets for renewable energy. The construction of a feed-in tariff system and the implementation of a Renewable Energy Feed-In Premium (REFIT) programme are just two examples of government policies and regulations that support investments in renewable energy.

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