Electricity Use in Namibia: Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises

Electricity Use in Namibia: Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises

by Dr. Godwin Norense Osarumwense Asemota


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, November 19

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475959956
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/06/2013
Pages: 850
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.88(d)

Read an Excerpt

Electricity Use in Namibia

Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Godwin Norense Osarumwense Asemota
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-5995-6

Chapter One


1.1 An Overview

This chapter provides background information to the problem under investigation.

1.2 Background Information

Structural reforms of many Western nations in their electricity markets led to the breakup of traditional regional monopolies into several generation and distribution utilities (Smith 2003), which bid to buy or sell electricity through wholesale markets. Namibia has taken a cue by establishing the Electricity Control Board (ECB) in 2000 to regulate the activities of its newly established Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs) (Felix, March 2005).

Although the wholesale market rules and operations are different, it was envisaged that this would lead to a reduction in price of electricity to consumers as well as reflect adequate prices for the actual costs involved in generation, transmission, and distribution (Smith 2003; Tjaronda 2006). To achieve these objectives, the newly established electricity markets were confronted with how to forecast electricity load demand coupled with wholesale spot prices. The consequent inability to implement efficient solutions to these forecast problems can directly result in huge losses in the wholesale market, poor infrastructure and infrastructure replacement incapacities, maintenance and service delivery problems, intractable and escalating costs of electricity to consumers, and a host of other institutional problems arising from inefficiencies and rigidities in the system.

While Heita (2006) relates that the envisaged power price increases before 2008 were meant to recover part of the N$2.6 billion to be spent on the Caprivi link, which connected Namibia with Livingstone in Zambia and Hwange Power station in Zimbabwe, they were also meant to reflect the price tag for the Kudu gas project, expected to commence in 2010. Heita quotes Dr. Hangala, who reports, "Namibians will do well by putting a dollar aside while enduring the cold in partial darkness in the coming winter season. This is so because NU will be juggling with demand and supply; by playing with the On and Off electricity switch and load shedding parts of the country at the same time." Hitherto, the ten-year Namibian-South Africa power agreement of 1997 "has helped Namibia in terms of electricity reliability, price and stability." As a result, the 200/400 MW Caprivi link interconnected the rest of Namibia at Oshikoto. These projects are expected to provide about 500 MW electricity demand in Namibia at peak periods, which is only able to internally generate about 384 MW of electrical power if all the three generation plants are running at full capacity. Hence, the remaining 120 MW must be imported at peak periods (Heita 2006; Felix, July 2005).

1.3 Statement of the Problem

The prevailing electricity and energy shortage problems in Namibia and their expected negative impacts are national, regional, and global. This is so because energy crises have reached global proportions, insomuch that an energy solution in one place means a solution for the world, whereas a problem in one region means a problem for the globe. A case in point is the recent escalation in prices for petroleum, which brought in its wake a hoard of untoward repercussions for industries and nations of the world at large.

Consequently, a well-implemented load management study should be able to determine the detailed energy needs of the economy for it to achieve the desired growth and development targets. It will also help to choose the energy sources to meet future energy requirements in the cheapest possible way. Load management (LM) strategies also help to conserve energy resources, while eliminating wasteful consumption patterns. Other expected solutions include the supply of basic energy needs of the poor through appropriate application of load- and demand-side management strategies. These will also assist in raising significant revenues to finance the energy sector development, while ensuring continuity of supply and price stability. Load management application reduces the need for additional power plants as a result of shifting load demand structures coupled with reduced fuel costs and other financial requirements. It will also lead to improved control of electricity rate charges, which satisfy various consumer groups with improved operational flexibility.

Compliance with regulatory pressures based on strict environmental/ ecological and aesthetic considerations result in higher returns on investments (ROI), deferment of investment on new electricity generating facilities, and consequent reduction in average costs of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. It equally ameliorates the associated ecosystem problems through more efficient use of existing power plants and resources. This is especially so because energy access today is one of the common denominators for classifying the rich and the poor, which ultimately results in poverty alleviation for Namibia with a Gini coefficient of 0.7 (CIA Database 2006).

In consonance with the above, this study is on Electricity Use in Namibia: Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises, as a solution to the twin requirements of satisfying increasing electricity load demand to customers and reliably managing a dwindling supply at optimum prices for sustainable development.

1.4 Literature Review of Load Management Problems in Namibia

According to the Electricity Control Board's 2005 Annual Report, the shortage of local generation capacity and increasing reliance on South Africa are the biggest shortcomings in the electricity industry in Namibia. Consequently, by 2007, electricity demand was expected to outstrip supply capacity in the region (Namibia and SADC). Thus, it necessitated the introduction of new generation capacity to supply the shortfall in electricity demand. In order to accomplish that, Namibia could exploit other options like hydropower on the Kunene, Kavango, and Orange rivers and use other renewable energy sources to increase its energy capacity aside from the Kudu gas plant.

According to Tjaronda (2006), Namibia imported about 48 percent of its electricity from ESCOM in South Africa and about 5 percent from Zambia, Zimbabwe, and other short-term energy markets. Furthermore, Tjaronda states that Namibia should brace for electricity tariff increases commencing in 2007, according to news obtained from the ECB in early 2006. These increases were expected to cover planned additional generation plant costs like the Kudu gas plant, although the Namibian populace believe it is the result of the newly established Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs). Shilamba (2006) explains that electricity prices will increase in order to reverse the untoward consequences of infrastructure obsolescence, lack of proper accounting systems, lack of funds for infrastructure upgrade and modernisation, and lack of human resources, which will undoubtedly vitiate Namibia's goal for achieving "Vision 2030," in terms of electricity power needs and self-sufficiency. Therefore, the "Sub-Vision" of Namibia Vision 2030 views Namibia as an industrialised nation, with a viable national resources export sector, increased size of skills based industrial and service sector, and market oriented production; there is high level of self sufficiency, reliable and competitively priced energy, meeting the demands of households and industry (Namibia Vision 2030, 2004). Furthermore, some of the objectives designed to accomplish the above sub-vision, include: (a) To achieve security of energy supply through an appropriate diversity of economically competitive and reliable resources, (b) To ensure that households and communities have access to affordable and appropriate energy supplies and, (c) To ensure that the energy sector is efficient, making contributions to Namibia's economic competitiveness (Namibia Vision 2030, 2004). In addition, some of the avowed strategies for attaining the tenets of the Namibia Vision 2030 (2004) include: (a) Promoting self sufficiency and access to energy services, (b) Ensuring cost-effective energy services meeting the country's energy demands reliably and competitively, and (c) Reducing dependence on traditional fuel.

Regarding the seriousness of the state of the electricity situation in Namibia, President Hifikepunye Pohamba had this to say: "The availability of reliable electricity is crucial for the socioeconomic development of any nation. In this day and age, reliable electricity is at the centre of all aspects of human, social and economic activities. Our homes, schools, health centres, mines, banks and public institutions need it. Even farmers need electricity to produce food for the nation. Incidentally, the existing power generation capacity in the SADC region is unable to satisfy demand due to a number of factors such as increased industrial and economic activities and urbanisation. As a result, demand-side management measures are being implemented in most countries including Namibia" (Pohamba 2008).

In order to further emphasise and corroborate the president of Namibia, Paulinus Shilamba (2008) said people should save energy now so as to prevent load shedding. This is so because NU will only use load shedding as a last resort to balance electricity books after all other options have been exhausted. Ideally, Namibia will be sufficiently provided for, as far as electricity needs go, when the country can rely on power produced locally at Ruacana and supplemented by electricity imports from South Africa. This is indeed the cheapest option.

NU runs the Van Eck power plant in Windhoek when the two other sources cannot deliver sufficient or needed quantities of electricity. The cost of this coal-operated plant is much higher than importing power from South Africa, which necessitates demand-side management (DSM) options. If DSM options cannot yield the required results, NamPower will start the very expensive diesel plant at Paratus (Shilamba 2008).

While NU admits that implementing DSM options would affect the economy by negatively impacting production activities and mines, NU equally loses revenue by selling less electricity than before. But these actions are necessary to ensure the stability of the Namibia power system. Once the benefits of saving electricity are realised, the situation of introducing load shedding can be prevented (Kaimu 2008).

1.5 Specific Objectives of the Research

To develop a general purpose algorithm that can be used to obtain a practical load management solution of electrical power load problems in Namibia

To test the performance of the algorithm on NU systems (if possible)

To use load management methodologies developed to manage electricity consumption patterns

To ensure network grid is operated in an effective, efficient, and safe manner

To improve the stability requirements of the power network systems

To complement and mitigate voltage rise problems

To allow for a number of distributed generation penetrations

To reduce electricity bills by maximising use of energy efficient principles and practices

Conservation of the environment by reducing emissions and water use at power stations

1.6 Research Questions

a) Do electricity consumers understand load management as the voluntary control of their power consumption after the meter?

b) How does load management help the utility to reliably provide power to all its consumers under normal and unpredictable load demand situations?

c) How does load management reduce cost of power to the consumer and the utility, earning appropriate returns on investments for sustainable development?

d) How do load management strategies contribute to the resource conservation for overall ecosystem balance for the benefit of Namibia, SADC, and the world at large?

1.7 Hypotheses

(a) If electricity use is not controlled, NU will continue to increase electricity costs

(b) Reduced electricity consumption decreases money paid to municipalities or NU

1.8 Methodology

In order to realise the research objectives and hypotheses of this study, a set of well-articulated processes and procedures were followed:

An extensive review of the literature was carried out to guide the focus of the study, which is on Electricity Use in Namibia: Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises. Therefore, a representative power system model could be used to develop the algorithm as prototype, using subroutines and modules to simplify design criteria.

While electricity load management is an inexact science, the methods of algorithm development are fairly quantitative. That means, both descriptive and quantitative techniques were used in the research design to enable the researcher to arrive at optimal algorithm design solutions.

Therefore, FORTRAN, MATLAB, Pascal, and SPSS were used for system implementation.

A set of questionnaires were designed, tested for validity and reliability, and then administered to respondents to elicit information in consonance with the research problems under investigation.

The yielded questionnaires, after successful administration, were subjected to statistical analyses, using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

The results derivable from SPSS software package were then analysed and interpreted to enable the researcher determine whether the research hypotheses were totally confirmed, refuted, or partially confirmed.

Several distribution systems reliability indices were also investigated.

1.9 Delimitations and Scope of Study

This study was limited to Electricity Use in Namibia: Developing Algorithms to Encourage More Efficient Consumer Behaviour and Motivate More Environmentally Friendly Utility Practises. In that regard, therefore, these very important areas were considered in this research: reliability criteria; load and demand-side management (LDSM); load forecasting; generation, transmission, and distribution; outages and power systems disturbances; increasing demand structure; decreasing supply situation (especially aging, resources, and investments constraints); energy sources; load shedding; electricity price forecasting problems; and emissions and incentives (to use less power at peak times, metering procedures, and other energy saving devices).

1.10 Significance of the Study

This research is of immense benefits and contribution to Namibian Utility, the Namibian nation, and SADC, especially because it would be a veritable backbone for maintaining power systems performance reliability for the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). It would also restore and increase NU systems capabilities across key transmission paths and by extension free up some quantities of electricity for the SADC regional electricity interconnection markets. Other benefits include the ability to seamlessly integrate new generating plants into NU systems for superior performance; enhance and improve NU systems capabilities for supplying power to customers, even under unexpected load conditions; lessen environmental impacts of construction projects and make investments most cost-effective; and avoid, mitigate, reduce, or control pollutants emission; most importantly, both NU and electricity consumers will benefit maximally from the incentives provided.

1.11 Reliability Subproblem

Reliability is the ability of the electrical power system to supply the aggregate electrical demand and energy requirements of its customers at all times, taking into account scheduled and reasonably expected unscheduled outages of system elements. The security of the electrical power system is its ability to withstand sudden disturbances such as electric short circuits or unanticipated loss of transmission line or system element. Consequently, the system must be capable of supplying the power needed by customers, and it must have the capacity to carry the power around the clock and under a variety of expected conditions like line maintenance, variation in customer demand, line loss, or severe weather, even in winter (BPA 2003). Furthermore, reliability standards dictate the thermal, voltage, and stability criteria to which the system must be planned, designed, built, and operated. For bulk power systems to operate reliably, they must satisfy these conditions (Makens 2002; eia.doe. gov 2002; Felix Nov. 2005; Kappenman et al. 1997; Ramos, Jr. 1999):

The total generation at any moment must be kept equal to total electricity consumption and losses on the system, including transmission and distribution.

The electricity is allowed to flow through the transmission system in accordance with physical laws and cannot be directed to flow through specific lines.

The system must be designed with reserve capacity in generation to allow for uninterrupted service when contingencies occur.


Excerpted from Electricity Use in Namibia by GODWIN NORENSE OSARUMWENSE ASEMOTA Copyright © 2013 by Godwin Norense Osarumwense Asemota. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS....................xiii
LIST OF FIGURES....................xvii
LIST OF TABLES....................xxvii
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION....................1
CHAPTER FOUR METHODOLOGY....................80
CHAPTER SIX ANALYSES OF RESULTS....................264

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews