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SA’s wind sector looks to power 9.3m homes by 2030

Read time 2min 10sec
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli.
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli.

Over the next decade, the South African wind energy sector has set an ambitious target of powering over 9.3 million households.

This emerged from yesterday’s Windaba Virtual Conference, with the sector saying it is set to transform SA’s energy landscape by delivering 14.4GW of wind energy over the next decade.

According to renewable energy industry body the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), which also participated in the virtual conference, 14.4GW of wind energy has the capacity to supply electricity to 9.36 million homes.

The Windaba follows president Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent announcement that renewable energy will play a pivotal role in curtailing the electricity challenges besetting the country.

In the opening address of the Windaba, Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA, reflected on the industry growth since 2010, which has delivered 3.4GW of wind power over four 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.

“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 [Integrated Resource Plan] 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.”

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) last month paved the way for government to buy energy from renewable energy independent power producers.

This after the regulator provided its concurrence to a Section 34 ministerial determination, issued earlier this year, which opened the way for the procurement of 6 800MW of wind and solar PV power.

The move will boost SA’s energy mix at a time when power utility Eskom is struggling to keep the lights on, leading to the parastatal resorting to load-shedding and load-reduction.

Eskom said it is pleased to note that NERSA had concurred with the ministerial determination for the procurement of 11 813MW of electricity generation infrastructure, as issued by the minister of mineral resources and energy in February 2020.

According to Ntuli, the wind sector will have more than 30GW of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030, which will constitute about 40% of the total power system.

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