Namibia’s first ever seawater desalination system powered with solar energy was inaugurated in May. With this milestone, the country gets closer to becoming self-sufficient, reports ESI Africa, the African power and energy journal. The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the University of Turku, in Finland, participated in this project, an initiative of the Namibian Government.
H.E. Dr Sam S Nujoma, the founding President of Namibia, launched the system at the University of Namibia last month. Professor Kenneth Matengu, Vice-Chancellor of the UNAM, commented on the positive effects expected: ‘The impact we hope to receive through this plant is to contribute to food security and increase energy supply while simultaneously combatting and mitigating the effects of climate change. We can make Namibia green’. The equipment not only removes salt from water, but also bacteria, viruses and chemicals.
This is one of the first desalination systems worldwide that will run entirely on renewable energy. Water technology company Solar Water Solutions, from Finland, was responsible for the design. The system fits in a container and can produce 3500 litres of water per hour from seawater. It has no energy costs, nor does it use any batteries, although if needed, it can be used as a hybrid with electricity or a generator.
According to Antti Pohjola, CEO of Solar Water Solutions, since there are no energy costs, the life cycle costs are more than 70% lower than those of conventional systems.