A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was successfully concluded between the German consortium partners and the Namibian energy supplier CENORED (Central North Regional Electricity Distributor) in the frame of the interdisciplinary PROCEED project in May 2020. The MoU offers opportunities for all involved stakeholders and represents an important milestone in the project.
PROCEED strives to improve the livelihoods of local communities in rural Namibia, who lack access to a reliable electricity supply. Therefore, the project analyses the potential of hybrid energy systems, i.e. off-grid photovoltaic systems coupled with generators, using existing Mini-Grids in three rural communities in Namibia as case studies. The project is characterized by its interdisciplinarity: while the University of Bayreuth focuses on the communities from a social science perspective (Work Package “Mini-Grid Community”), the Hochschule Neu-Ulm is investigating the economic efficiency of these hybrid systems (Work Package “Mini-Grid Economics”). Meanwhile, the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt is responsible for the technical analysis of the systems together with IBC SOLAR AG (Work Package “Mini-Grid Technology”). PROCEED is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
CENORED is responsible for the operation of the Mini-Grids in two of the selected communities and is consequently one of the most important local stakeholders in the field of renewable energies. Thanks to this new cooperation, the PROCEED team will thus not only receive first-hand local energy consumption data, but also valuable insights into the technical, economic and social challenges and opportunities of operating such hybrid systems. Moreover, CENORED will be closely involved in the further analysis of the case studies and will also support the field research visits of the scientists on site.
The participation of important local stakeholders, such as CENORED, contributes decisively to the project’s sustainable success. We as PROCEED team are therefore very pleased to intensify the cooperation with CENORED in the coming years and to jointly continue developing the PROCEED project.