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Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy

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With an energetic and consistent wave resource Namibia is very well positioned to utilise the benefits of wave energy to enable sustainable industries and jobs. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy 

Finish company AW-Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kaoko Green Energy Solutions in Namibia to develop and produce green hydrogen from near shore wave energy. 

AW-Energy is a technology company that has patented the impressive WaveRoller system which is used to harness wave energy in a number of countries around the world, most recently in Portugal.

WaveRoller is a device that converts ocean wave energy to electricity. The machine operates in near-shore areas (approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore) at depths of between eight and 20 meters.

Depending on tidal conditions it is mostly or fully submerged and anchored to the seabed. A single WaveRoller unit (one panel and PTO combination) is rated at between 350kW and 1000kW, with a capacity factor of 25-50% depending on wave conditions at the project site. The technology can be deployed as single units or in farms.

Christopher Ridgewell, CEO of AW-Energy, says that the Namibian coast is ideal for the company to deploy its new system. “With an energetic and consistent wave resource Namibia is very well positioned to utilise the benefits of wave energy to enable sustainable industries and jobs,” says Ridgewell.

“The partnership with Kaoko is exciting. We’re enjoying working with Kaoko’s innovative team to support Namibia’s sustainability goals and it is an initiative that provides an excellent environment for deploying WaveRoller technology into Namibia’s energy mix.

The value of waves (Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy)

“We’re looking forward to taking the next steps together and to demonstrate WaveRoller’s value in desalination and green hydrogen production,” says Ridgewell.

“It is an initiative that supports a mutual intention to co-operate and explore knowledge share opportunities for the development of clean and sustainable ocean energy resource and the assessment phase of wave farm developments in Namibia.”

According to Sacky Nalusha, a Director at Kaoko Green Energy Solutions the current energy shortages in the region have paved the way to explore alternative, untapped and sustainable energy sources.

“It is an open secret that the energy sector in the Southern Africa is currently underdeveloped, creating opportunities for innovative solutions and partnerships that can grow the sector. Ocean waves have the potential to provide a sustainable solution to our energy needs and demands,” says Nalusha.

Three phases of development (Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy)

Operated in three phases, Phase 1 will include a detailed site design and cover the fabrication and deployment of a WaveRoller wave farm on the coast of Swakopmund, Namibia, to deliver renewable power to support in-land resettlement and development.

Phase 2 will assess the capacity for wave farms in several locations in Namibia. The final phase will expand wave energy plants to deliver power to the grid and help in new ways to provide energy for desalination and green hydrogen projects.

Namibia is aiming to become a green hydrogen superpower in the coming decade by positioning itself as a leader in the emerging markets and an international exporter of green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen will be an important source of foreign investment and is important for the country’s energy security and transition. The government plans to use it extensively to decarbonise its own economy.

Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Council launched its green hydrogen strategy at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, which supports the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, with the ultimate goal of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050.

Upskilling local Namibians (Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy)

The strategy will also allow Namibia to become a net exporter of energy by unlocking its potential to meet global demands of 10 million metric tons by 2030 while playing a pivotal role in energy security for the region.

A critical part of the country’s growth in clean energy is the upskilling of the domestic workforce to maximise local employment.

“This MOU is designed to help facilitate ways in which the WaveRoller wave energy device and its technology can be fabricated, manufactured and deployed using local people to support owner-operators in Namibia,” says Ridgewell.

“Combined with other renewable energy sources such as solar, WaveRoller enables significant cost reductions in green hydrogen production and represents a viable solution in the drive to execute the world’s clean energy hydrogen roadmap.”

Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy

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Namibia’s road to net zero includes wave energy  

 

 

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