Namibian policy perspectives on solar energy.
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Namibia’s policy priorities on energy and its development are based on the White Paper on Energy Policy of 1998. The White Paper sets six strategic goals: 1. Effective governance 2. Security of supply 3. Social upliftment 4. Investment and growth 5. Economic competitiveness and efficiency 6. Sustainability. The White Paper also recognises the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Namibia’s socio-economic development as providing ‘sustainability’ and ‘security of supply’ by virtue of diversification and the use of locally available resources. Since the launch of the Policy Paper in 1998, a number of initiatives and renewable energy programmes have been set in motion in partnership with various local and international groups. The country, like most developing countries, faces immense challenges in providing basic infrastructure such as electricity and energy services, in general, to previously disadvantaged communities. Many of these communities reside in communal areas, and they are far too displaced for grid electrification to be deployed cost-effectively. This paper analyses some of these initiatives, especially those that are focussd on solar energy. Some of the key questions to be addressed in the paper are as listed below. 1. What key strategic initiatives and their specific objectives have been implemented so far in the fulfillment of the Policy Paper? 2. How effective and efficient have these initiatives been? 3. What is the level of wider stakeholder involvement in the initiatives? 4. How is financing and quality assurance of solar energy technologies being addressed through the policy framework? 5. What are the inadequacies in the Policy Paper to address the current and future challenges in the solar energy sector?