Solar power in Namibia: Endless expanses, world-class solar resources and a stable investment environment make the country a springboard for renewable investments in Africa

With its sturdy investment environment and a growing domestic solar industry, Namibia offers an excellent platform for developing innovative business solutions which can serve as a reference for other African markets.

Long-term financing is offered by the Development Bank of Namibia, regional development banks and, for example, the KFW Banking Group. For years now, Namibia has been paying considerable sums to import up to 70% of the power it consumes from South Africa and other neighboring countries, with the electricity imported from South Africa largely being generated from coal. Its own wind and solar resources, meanwhile, would be sufficient to provide a cost efficient supply of electricity not only for extensive and sparsely populated Namibia itself, but also for half of Africa. This awareness is increasingly gaining acceptance among decision-makers in local institutions, and a whole string of regulatory conditions for stepping up the development of wind and solar power plants have been improved in order to speed up opportunities for private investments.

Nevertheless, there are a number of hurdles that Central Europeans need to learn to overcome: different time horizons between planning and implementation, political and social priorities, a different business culture that could thwart many a convincing-looking business case. What we recommend: Taking time to build resilient business relationships and enlisting consultants with good local knowledge.

Suntrace provides support in the development, financing and construction of solar power plants in Namibia and other African countries. As solar experts with more than 10 years’ experience in developing, financing and building large-scale solar power plants in over 12 African countries, Suntrace is aiding the energy transition process in Africa. One of the highlights in Namibia is the supply of the Ohorongo Cement plant with solar power from one of Africa’s largest solar industrial power plants. As well as developing the technical concept and the contract for the project, Suntrace also arranged the long-term financing and has been supervising the operation of the plant since 2018.