Renewable Energy Policy in Africa and Policy Options for Sustainability: The Case of Namibe

Renewable Energy Policy in Africa and Policy Options for Sustainability: The Case of Namibe

Isata Teixeira Lemba, Marta Ferreira Dias, Margarita Robaina
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0315-7.ch008
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The aim of this research is to propose actions for energy policy aimed at the inclusion of renewable energy sources for Namibe, Angola. The chapter begins by describing the barriers that have been encountered in other countries in the same policy path. Renewable energy opportunities and potentialities are also described for the Namibe province. Finally, the energy policy proposal for the Namibe province is exposed, based on some experiences that have achieved positive results in other countries.
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Namibe province is located on the southern coast of Angola, whose capital is the city of Mocamedes. It is limited to the north by the province of Benguela, to the east by the provinces of Huila and Cunene, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south by the Republic of Namibia. It has an approximate area of 56389 km2 and an Atlantic maritime border of about 420 km (GPN, 2013). It is located between parallels 13º 30 'and 17º 15' south latitude, and meridians 11º 45 'and 13º 30' east longitude. Namibe province is administratively divided into 5 municipalities and 14 communes and its population was estimated at around 549800 inhabitants in 2017 (INE, 2016), but over the next two decades is estimated an average annual population growth rate of about of 3% (INE, 2016).

The Government of this province, in its Socio-Economic Development Master Plan for the period 2013-2017 (GPN, 2013), presents several projects related to various areas, such as: the relaunch of the fishing industry; the enlargement of the commercial port; the relaunch of the marble and plaster industries; the development of Mediterranean and subtropical agricultural crops; the exploitation of tourism potentials; the enlargement of urban areas aiming at the construction of residences; the development of projects to combat desertification. With regard to the area of energy policy, which is the focus of this chapter, the proposal is on increasing energy capacity with the construction of more diesel power stations. The realization of these projects will require from the energy sector adequate capacity in terms of energy infrastructure and technologies to meet energy needs.

Electricity is essential for the development of any country or region. In the case of Angola, and Namibe in particular, the rate of access to electricity is very low. Only about 30% of the population of Angola had access to electricity in 2017, and for Namibe, in the same year the rate was 32% (ENDE EP, 2018), depriving the majority of the population of the enjoyment of all goods and services provided by electricity. Given the Namibe Provincial Government's master plan and the current context of access to electricity for the population, the energy sector presents many challenges to meet current and future energy needs. Current electricity production is insufficient and based on non-renewable sources. Sometimes energy is scarce, not only for lack of energy resources, but also because energy policy is inadequate or nonexistent. Although the Angolan energy body, which is the Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA), has projects in Namibe on the development of photovoltaic wind and solar energy sources (DNERL, 2018; Rede Angola, 2016) and this may diversify Namibe's energy mix, there is no proper policy to ensure these sources.

For the insertion of these sources it is necessary, above all, a background work so that energy policy makers and the society may invest on the introduction of those sources in the Angolan energy market.

In short, Namibe is a region with serious problems of energy poverty, problems of uninterrupted access to electricity, energy dependence associated with fossil fuels and prospects for strong population growth in the coming decades. All this leads to concerns of an economic, social and environmental nature that must be addressed.

In this sense, and detecting the need for knowledge of the appropriate energy options and energy policies, this chapter aims to propose actions of energy policy that may lead to the inclusion of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of Namibe, to ensure a sustainable economic growth. To this end this chapter will seek to answer the following questions: (i) Which are the renewable energy opportunities and potentialities for the Namibe province? (ii) What are the barriers that have been encountered in other countries in the same policy path? (iii) What energy policies have been applied in other countries and which might be suggested for the province of Namibe?

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