Renewable energy
This Q&A looks at balancing renewable energy developments and biodiversity.

The renewable sector and its stakeholders will be gathering on the Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace platform, 26 to 27 October 2020, to unpack the role of the industry in the energy transition, for the decade ahead.

“The drive towards renewable energy in South Africa remains a high priority for government’s economic recovery plans, making this year’s Windaba especially relevant to the sector,” said Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).

The event organisers explained that the decision to go virtual for Windaba 2020 is due to COVID- 19 restrictions and the event is making use of state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, to match buyers and sellers; to offer in-built video-conferencing capabilities; as well as the ability to live stream content to the platform and pre-recorded content too.

Read more about:
Energy transition
Economic transformation

“This digital platform means a greater international reach, as delegates can log-in to the platform and the conference with ease. Hence, we are anticipating over 400 delegates, in addition to around 2,000 participants on the Virtual Marketplace,” added Ntuli.

Local and international thought leaders will lead discussions on pertinent issues that will guide the sector’s ability to unpack the evolution of green power. The programme highlights germane topics such as Jobs and Skills; Land issues in Wind Energy Development; Wind & Energy Storage; Local Supply Chain Development; Balancing environmental constraints with energy developmental imperatives; Wake Loss Effects and IRP 2019: What it means for SA Energy Costs, and other key matters.

The conference has been preceded by a series of industry webinars, focussing on topical issues. According to the organisers, the series which launched in May 2020, has received an overwhelmingly positive response, inviting dynamic engagement from sector participants. 

Speaking about the virtual platform, Tracy Gounden, portfolio director at Messe Frankfurt, explained, “We have found these platforms to be very sophisticated from an AI matchmaking perspective, as well as offering greater brand awareness for sellers that benefit from qualified leads. 

“Additionally, the format allows for a much wider reach and more diverse audience, so much so, that it is likely that future conferences will be a hybrid of a live event, coupled with an online platform running simultaneously.”

Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace

Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace, will feature a full online conference programme, virtual exhibition and an online business platform that will facilitate the renewable sector and its various stakeholders to engage in one-on-one meetings. The platform will also enable access to key content about the latest industry developments and track latest bids and opportunities in the marketplace.

Windaba is the flagship industry conference of SAWEA; as well as being supported by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), having launched its inaugural conference ten years ago. 

The annual event brings together key stakeholders including professionals, policymakers, academics, civil society and government representatives. It aims to facilitate strengthened partnerships for the on-the-ground implementation of renewable energy projects, to influence energy policy, and provide a framework to aid strategic decision-making.