On Wednesday 26 July 2017, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga on behalf of the Hon. Obeth Kandjoze, officially launched the United Nations (UN) House solar panels on Wednesday, 26 July 2017 alongside the City of Windhoek (CoW) and the UN System in Namibia (UN Namibia). The UN House, located in Klein Windhoek, is where UN Namibia offices are located.
As Namibia receives a high amount of sunlight, the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) to Namibia, Kiki Gbeho emphasized that the UN’s move towards using solar energy is an opportunity to showcase best practice, in terms of the use of renewable energy in support of Namibian, and global efforts, to combat climate change.
“Specifically, Goal 13 of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) speaks to Climate Change, while Goal 7, aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” Gbeho said.
Since the installation in the beginning of May, power usage at the UN House has decreased by approximately 50%, which in monetary terms translates to a total savings of roughly N$ 60,000 per month.
If the current savings trend continues, coupled with the current effort to monitor power usage around the office, UN Namibia forecasts savings of at least 60% in the next few months going forward. This, over time, will result in a large amount of monetary savings that can be implemented into programmatic work as opposed to operational costs.
On behalf of Hon. Kandjoze, Hon. Shilunga highlighted Namibia’s great potential in renewable energy, specifically solar power, with its abundance of land, an average of 300 sunny days per year and the second highest solar irradiation regime in the world.
Hon. Shilunga also emphasized that Namibia is gearing up for a renewable revolution through the National Energy Policy, aligned with the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Namibia Vision 2030. “Namibia is ready to show the world what can be achieved through renewable energy development. Namibia is ready to take its place as a world leader in renewable energy,” she said.
Deputy Mayor of the CoW, Her Worship Fransina Kahungu on behalf of the Mayor Cllr. Muesee Kazapua, reiterated the importance of Namibia joining the rest of the world in going green and working towards attaining clean and affordable energy for every individual.
The move towards solar power is one of the many initiatives UN Namibia plans to implement in line with Greening the Blue, the UN’s journey towards achieving climate neutrality, reducing its carbon footprint and promoting an environmentally-friendly office.
Besides utilizing solar power, UN Namibia is installing energy efficient light bulbs in UN House to maximize energy savings along with its recycling system. In the medium turn, UN Namibia will strengthen water conservation, including through the exploration of the use of grey water for gardening purposes,.
The UN Namibia family will endeavor to create a more mindful and sustainable office environment and calls upon its partners to join hands and emulate similar programmes in their offices.