SA wind industry gears-up to deliver 14.4GW over the next decade
SA wind industry gears-up to deliver 14.4GW over the next decade.

The Windaba Virtual Conference kicked-off today, presenting an assembly of industry thought leaders that are geared to support the wind industry as it enters into another decade of growth, set to transform South Africa’s energy landscape by delivering 14.4GW of wind energy.

In the opening address, Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) reflected on the industry growth since 2010, which has delivered 3.4GW of wind power over 4 bidding rounds.

“With the installed capacity of almost 2GW already operational and an additional 1.4GW in final stages of construction, the South African wind industry is certainly ready to expand its growth into the next decade,” said Ntuli.

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She added: “A lot of progress has been made on the policy front that sets the tone for the next decade of wind power. Following the approval of the IRP 2019 about a year ago, which allocates 1.6GW per annum from 2022 to 2030 to wind energy, we now have a clear path for procurement of additional new generation capacity clearly outlined in the Section 34 Ministerial Determination that was gazetted in September 2020.”

Aptly themed: 10 Years and Beyond – Wind Energy Leading Two Decades of Energy Transition, local and international thought leaders will spend the next two days in discussions on pertinent issues that will guide the sector’s ability to unpack the evolution of green power, as the wind industry prepares for acceleration as the IRP2019 foresees decommissioning of about 12GW of coal power plants by 2030.

“We will have more than 30GW of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030, which will constitute about 40% of the total power system,” remarked Ntuli.

Takalani Maswime, head of corporate social responsibility and human resources at Cennergi; Mishelle Govender, chief director: hazardous waste management and licensing at the Department of Environment; and Tobias Elling Rehfeld, Ambassador of Denmark – to name a few – will attend the virtual conference and provide an opportunity for delegates to gain valuable insights and understand the global market and latest technological trends with topics such as the development of hybrid projects in South Africa, the SADC perspective on the renewables energy and the global perspectives on cost reduction.

Wind industry developments

Readiness in terms of availability of investment capital, skills availability, land availability, grid access, operational excellence and investment in local supply chain development to support this growth phase is high on the list of topics to be tackled over the next two days, in line with the conference theme.

Additionally, the programme highlights germane topics such as wind & energy storage; balancing environmental constraints with energy developmental imperatives; as well as a close look at South Africa’s energy costs, and other key matters.

The conference has been preceded by a series of industry webinars launched in May 2020, focussing on topical issues and inviting dynamic engagement from sector participants.

Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace, will feature a fully online conference programme, virtual exhibition and an online business platform that will facilitate the renewable energy 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.