NEI contributes to energy policy formulation

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By Southern Times Writer

Windhoek - The Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) has managed to drive different projects on renewable energy as well as develop skills in the energy sector, Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Professor Tjama Tjivikua, has said.

“NUST, through NEI, managed a number of projects for the Ministry of Mines and Energy funded by development partners such as the European Union (EU), Energy Management Partnerships, Australian Development Agency, among others, to accelerate the development and research of renewable energy projects in the country. To this end, the Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Systems was developed by NUST. A solar thermal roadmap for Namibia was also developed and a full feasibility study on concentrated solar power technology transfer for electricity in Namibia was completed.

“Input was also given to the development of the National Energy Policy, Renewable Energy Policy, the National Integrated Resource Plan and Demand Side Management. NUST also assisted MME in the submission of the bid to the SADC Secretariat for Namibia to host the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy Efficiency, which was successful,” Prof Tjivikua said.

Tjivikua added that NUST has now submitted a proposal for an internationally funded project in renewable energy because of the unavailability of expertise and resources locally. 

Among other steps in moving towards a clean energy revolution, Tjivikua revealed that NUST has also adopted an internal renewable energy policy were their new buildings will be using solar geysers and power supply as a move to drive full compliance with renewable energy.

“NUST has implemented the EU funded projects: Southern African Sustainable Initiative, Participatory Integrated Assessment of Energy Systems to promote Energy Access and Efficiency Programme for Energy Efficiency in Southern Africa, and the Network of Energy  Excellence for Development. 

The projects provided capacity building through the development of short courses to increase the knowledge and skills of trainers for NUST staff members and partner institutions in the field of sustainable energy. 

The curriculum was also developed in sustainable energy programmes for partner institutions in the projects,” he said.

Giving a background on the establishment of NEI, Tjivikua said, “In 2002, the government transformed the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute into NEI to be a leading institute for energy research and development in Africa with a mission to support Namibia industrialisation by linking energy research to industry needs and economic development initiatives.”

NEI is funded by the Ministry of Mines and Energy to support the capacity building, research and development and technical advisory needs of the whole energy sector in Namibia. 

The institute has four centres, the Centre for Oil and Gas, Centre for Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency, Centre for Electricity Supply and Centre for Nuclear Sciences.

NEI also provides training and capacity building, policy formulation and establishment of a regulatory framework, project management and technical advisory services.

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