Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Energy Minister and Windaba patron and Karen Breytenbach, leader of the government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit and figurehead of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) have both confirmed their attendance as speakers at Windaba 2014.
Minister Joemat-Pettersson will participate in a the formal opening of the conference with an address and opening remarks to delegates, as well as taking part in the VIP opening of the exhibition hall.
In her capacity as Senior Project Advisor for the Treasury, Breytenbach will speak in the session entitled: ‘Dialogue with the REIPPPP IPP Office: “Assessment of the REIPPPP for wind: Where did we come from, where are we and where are we going?”
“Our latest confirmed speakers serve to demonstrate how important the wind industry is for in South African government, as well as the private sector. These prestigious speakers are just a part the impressive line up we have for this year’s conference,” comments South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Johan Van den Berg.
SAWEAs official annual conference ‘Windaba’ promises to be more popular than ever in its fourth consecutive year. Already the wind industry is adding significant quantities of desperately needed electricity to the national grid. Now it promises to tackle the issues of rural development, job creation and community development. While the conference will again focus on the full spectrum of topics important to wind power in South Africa, special attention will be focussed on socio-economic contributions and possibilities.
The theme for this year’s conference, which will be held in Cape Town in November, is ‘Power2thePeople: Changing lives through wind energy’ and will highlight the significant benefits that developments will bring to neighbouring communities. More than ZAR5 billion has already been earmarked for social economic development from wind farms already in operation and those currently being built. A community trust ownership scheme is also part of the programme and local communities own up to five per cent of their local development in shares. How these financial benefits can be most effectively spent and distributed will form a major part of the debate at Windaba.
SAWEA already has an impressive list of prestigious speakers confirmed and expects the number of delegates to again exceed 500. As well as the aforementioned speakers, there will be an opportunity for direct engagement on the subject of local content between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry. The team of consultants leading the study into localisation of the wind energy sector in South Africa will also be in attendance.
Energy thought leader Mike Roussow from Eskom and his colleague Keith Bowen, the utility’s modeller of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) will join Cas Coovadia, acting CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) to debate in the plenary session on ‘aligning the South African wind agenda with the broader policy objectives from Government’. A number of influential international speakers will also contribute, including the Danish Minister for Trade and Development, the Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the Executive Secretary of REN 21.
Participants will also contribute to a high level strategic planning session for South Africa’s International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC) which will be held for the first time in 2015, incorporating Windaba and that is expected to attract more than five thousand delegates from all over the globe.
For further information on Windaba and the current programme, please visit the Windaba website at www.windaba.co.za. Booth space and sponsorship opportunities are still available.