South Africa’s wind fleet grows exponentially

17 June 2015

South Africa has increased its installed base of wind turbines from eight in 2012 to 294 currently, and the South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) is advocating that 2,500 turbines be installed by 2020 to lower the risk of load-shedding, increase private generation and diversify the country’s coal-dominant electricity mix.

In a short film titled ‘Seven amazing facts about wind power in South Africa’, the association outlined the technology’s socioeconomic and price advantages.

CEO Johan van den Berg noted that wind and solar photovoltaic projects had emerged as the dominant technologies deployed across the 92 renewables projects procured to date through the REIPPPP.

“Wind power in 2014 saved more money than it cost: it was cash positive by R300-million (that’s cash benefit for Eskom directly) and it avoided R800-million worth of unserved energy,” Van den Berg asserted, calculating that wind energy enabled South Africa to avoid 117 hours of load-shedding last year.

He also highlighted the R7-billion already allocated by wind developers to socioeconomic development projects and the 19,414 person-year jobs created in the construction and operation of the wind farms built over the past three years.

The Global Wind Energy Council said that wind energy had become “mainstream” and was one of the fastest growing industrial sectors in the world, attracting $100-billion in investment in 2014.


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