Case Study: Namibia

Enabling framework

In 2000, the Namibian Ministry of Mining and Energy created the Electricity Control Board (ECB) to regulate generation, transmission and distribution of electric power.  The ECB therefore is mandated to regulate the energy sector and issue licences but not to improve the electrical infrastructure, a task that has been assigned to Nampower.  The three organisations MME, ECB and Nampower have collaborated in increasing the electrified population in Namibia following the rural electrification programme established in 1991.  The Ministry of Mines and Energy’s issued an Off-grid Energy Master Plan in  2006 supporting various ways of providing access to modern energy, including energy shops.

Utility / Private Hybrid

The Tsumkwe minigrid has several public entities responsible for oversight, maintenance and operation.  The ultimate responsibility and ownership of the plant lies with the regional government: the Otjozondjupa Regional Council (OTRC), although a number of national bodies also play a role.


Electricity production and consumption are the responsibility of Tsumkwe Energy Supply company (TESco), which acts as an independent power producer (IPP), and Tsumkwe Energy Trust, which represents the Tsumkwe community through elected representatives.


The energy production costs are currently subsidised by OTRC from N$ 3.50 per kWh to N$ 1.00 per kWh for residents and N$ 1.90 for government institution connected to the mini-grid system.

PV - Diesel hybrid system

The Tsumkwe Solar PV-Diesel hybrid plant is comprised of a 202kW PV array (916 x 240W solar panels), 766kWh battery capacity, 2 new 150 kVA generators and an overhauled older 350 kVA generator AC coupled system, which together provide 24 hour electricity supply.  This is an improvement from the previous system that consisted of two diesel generators that together were able to provide only 10 to 14 hours of (irregular, unreliable) power access per day.


Originally the plant was planned as a 100% PV system but to reduce costs, make the kWh price more affordable and increase client numbers, it was redesigned as a PV-diesel hybrid system.