Climate change through energy efficiency

08 October 2019 | Environment

Ruan Bestbier The Bank of Namibia’s report on Namibia’s second quarter performance found that fuel imports
significantly contributed to the decline in the country’s current account.
An analysis by PSG Namibia states that the value of fuel imports increased in part due to a rise in fuel
consumption stemming from higher electricity production at the Anixas diesel-run power plant. This
emergency diesel power station had to be used due to poor rainfall adversely affecting the Ruacana
hydropower station’s electricity output.
This situation is one example why Namibian companies have turned to investigating and deploying
energy efficient technologies to reduce their dependence on traditional forms of energy, like fossil
fuel and electricity. This is motivated by the fact that by applying energy efficient methods, more can
be done with less.
By definition, energy efficiency means using less energy to provide the same service or produce the
same product. Increasing energy efficiency often costs money up-front but in most cases, this capital
outlay is recovered in the form of reduced energy costs within a short time period. This also makes
efficiency improvements an attractive starting point for reducing carbon emissions and mitigating
climate change.
The impact of the cost of energy is also felt in key economic industries in Namibia such as fishing and
manufacturing. The fishing industry continues to be an energy intensive activity and fishing fleets
still need to adapt to high and ever-changing energy prices. In addition, the volatile oil price is a
cause for economic concern for the fishing industry.
Local impact
In Namibia, we continuously see the impact of global warming and the effects of climate change on
our environment and businesses.
With Bank Windhoek’s Green Bond initiative coupled with SUNREF’s technical assistance facility, we
aim to turn bankable projects into sustainable realities. By effecting energy efficient technology or
practices on your business, the long-term benefits includes savings in cost and maintenance
expenses and most of all show that you are serious about climate change and its impending
consequences.
It is important to note that the scope of the overall savings and the methodology required, depend
on the situation and location of the building or company and improving energy efficiency is a key
tool for reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the long run.
Limited energy security and rising energy prices will likely continue to challenge the growth of
Namibian businesses in the near future. These trends tied with the negative impact of bush
encroachment, which is estimated to cover half of the country, resulting in a decrease of agricultural
yield, reduction of biodiversity and water resources coupled with the impact of drought and a strain
on energy resources, make green economy growth a priority in Namibia. In turn, it demonstrates the
need to assess and build resiliency to a changing climate.
To be more energy efficient, the way forward is to take a systematic approach to obtaining an
adequate knowledge of the existing energy consumption profiling your building or group of
buildings, an industrial or commercial operation. Further, identifying and quantifying cost-effective
energy savings opportunities and to report the findings of these opportunities to the management of
your organisation to take action. One of the immediate remedies for addressing these concerns is to
apply energy efficient practices which reduces your carbon footprint and enhances cost savings,
leading to an overall contribution to your company’s bottom line.
Taking action
The United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit, hosted at their headquarters in New York in
September, called for decisive action on the impact of climate change. This has reverberated

worldwide with countries taking action to combat the effects on their citizens’ livelihoods.
Moreover, the main goal of the summit was to advance climate action for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions to prevent the mean global temperature from rising by more than 1.5 degrees above
preindustrial levels.
Communities the world over are experiencing food shortages, massive displacement and risks to
their livelihoods and lives. In Namibia, the annual average economic losses as a result of climate-
related disasters, amounts to billions of Namibia dollars.
To implement recommended changes to address climate change, effective policies, private-sector
action and public-private cooperation are needed to assist in creating a more inclusive, sustainable,
and affordable and secure local energy system.
These regulation changes must target overall energy policy; demand and supply-side measures;
energy tariff regulations; power sector reform; energy efficiency policies, laws, targets and plans;
establishment of energy efficiency agencies; and promotion of energy efficiency. Notable examples
is the wiliness of local authorities and the government who have taken action by establishing the
Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CREEE). This the organisation is responsible for
the continuation of the work done by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute (REEEI)
on Renewable Energy technologies and their use, Energy Efficiency practices, policy and regulation
development and climate change mitigation studies.
Furthermore, the issuance of Namibia’s first Green Bond and being a proactive partner of the
SUNREF Namibia Programme, is testament to Bank Windhoek’s and Capricorn Group’s vision of
being the financial partner of choice, ultimately leading to positive change in the country and the
Southern African region. It is evident that there are still many untapped opportunities to use energy
efficiency to save money, cut harmful pollution and meet our climate goals of a limiting global
temperature rise below two degrees Celsius to preindustrial levels.
* Ruan Bestbier is Bank Windhoek’s Manager of Sustainable Investments and Deal Origination

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