November 2016

INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCERS TAKE ON ESKOM THROUGH NATIONAL ENERGY REGULATOR

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has lodged an official complaint with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) over Eskom’s failure to comply with ministerial determinations. The complaint relates to Eskom’s public refusal to enter into power purchase agreements with Preferred Bidders arising from government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Produce Procurement Programme. In the event that Eskom is found guilty, SAWEA has requested that NERSA impose the maximum legislated penalty of 10 per cent of Eskom’s annual daily turnover for each day that Eskom continues to delay the programme. The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has lodged an official complaint with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) over Eskom’s failure to comply with ministerial determinations. The complaint relates to Eskom’s public refusal to enter into power purchase agreements with Preferred Bidders arising from government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Produce Procurement Programme. In the event that Eskom is found guilty, SAWEA has requested that NERSA impose the maximum legislated penalty of 10 per cent of Eskom’s annual daily turnover for each day that Eskom continues to delay the programme.

“SAWEA believes that Eskom is acting in direct contravention with Government’s policy to diversify the country’s energy mix” said Johan van den Berg, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association.

The complaint details Eskom’s refusal to comply with the Electricity Regulation Act, ministerial determinations and Eskom’s own transmission licence conditions. “Eskom’s current stance is incompatible with government policy, the law of the land, and its own licence conditions.” added van den Berg.

SAWEA members are deeply concerned by Eskom’s stance. The industry believes that Eskom, which is by far the largest generator in the country, is abusing its position as the operator of the national grid in order to favour its own investment in new power plants.

Unease over Eskom’s motives leads SAWEA to believe that the state-owned utility is pushing its own agenda and opposing government’s energy policy. SAWEA considers recent statements issued by Eskom to be misleading and not in the best interest of the country.

Decisions on new power generation are the sole preserve of the Minister of Energy who has issued a series of determinations designed to stimulate competition, diversify the energy mix, and reduce the country’s carbon emissions. Since 2011, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has awarded 6 590 MW of renewable energy capacity to 102 independent power producers, of which at least 44 are already operational. In all the programme will attract new private sector investment worth R194 billion in predominantly rural areas.

Successive capacity bidding rounds have seen tariffs fall to the point that renewables are now the cheapest form of electricity generation available to the country. Independent research by the CSIR has confirmed that wind and solar PV energy are, without a doubt, the lowest cost generation option for South Africa’s future.

The REIPPPP will also lead to significant investments in social development in the communities surrounding these projects. Approximately R19.3 billion will be ploughed into social development and a further R6 billion will go into enterprise development over the twenty year lives of the projects. Local communities will earn a further R29.2 billion through their direct shareholding in the projects.

The REIPPPP is also stimulating local manufacturing and creating sustainable jobs. By March 2016 over R30 billion had been spent on local content and a further R65.7 billion is expected to be spent by projects that have yet to commence construction. Twelve new industrial facilities have been established as a direct result of the programme. Since 2013, the construction and operation of renewable energy projects has already created 111,835 job years for South African citizens.

Cabinet recently recognised these accounts when it issued a statement reaffirming support for the REIPPPP. The office of the President has further stated that ‘all the Independent Power Producer Programmes, and any other determinations made by the Minister of Energy, are and remain government policy and are supported by the Presidency’.

“Given these facts, Eskom’s refusal to sign any further power purchase agreements with renewable energy producers is quite inexplicable and clearly falls foul of the law,” concluded van den Berg.

 

South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is the not-for- profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain.

SAWEA aims to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in South Africa; facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); disseminate information; and to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public.

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Africa’s first academic wind industry conference an unmitigated success

WindAc Africa, the first academic wind energy conference on the continent, has finished in style with a book launch and an award for best presentation. The two-day conference, held at The River Club in Cape Town offered a forum for academics and researchers to share cutting edge data and intelligence one the finer technicalities of the wind energy industry.

WindAc Africa, the first academic wind energy conference on the continent, has finished in style with a book launch and an award for best presentation.
 
The two-day conference, held at The River Club in Cape Town offered a forum for academics and researchers to share cutting edge data and intelligence one the finer technicalities of the wind energy industry. The event also offered a unique learning opportunity for 30 carefully selected university students through a sponsorship programme allowing them access to the conference, a visit to Biotherm Energy’s Dassiesklip Wind Farm, accommodation and a Q and A with Dr Phil Mjwara, Director General of the Government’s Department of Science and Technology.
 
Haltor Mataifa, a research student from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), has found the experience invaluable: “I have been researching renewable energy for some time now, but this is the first academic event focussed on wind energy that I have attended. I’ve found it very enriching and it has given me a wider perspective which will contribute to my research output. More events like this are needed to prevent the academic element of wind energy lagging behind the rest of the industry.”
 
The event, which was organised by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) was full-to-capacity with 120 delegates, 30 speakers and 30 students. Speakers at the event offered an international flavour with participants from the USA, Germany, Denmark and France as well as contributions from prestigious South Africans.
 
“WindAc is an exciting new addition to the growing series of institutions that accompany the success of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Procurement Programme. I trust that this first gathering will help to foster the research and study necessary to maximize South Africans’ input to their growing renewable energy industry,” comments Steve Sawyer, Secretary General, GWEC.
 
Sessions covered a diverse range of such subjects including lessons learnt on community consultation and how renewable energy development can implement changes, knowledge sharing around wind resource and characteristics, the design and planning of electric systems with high penetration of wind energy and research activities on the policy and institutional approaches to deployment of wind energy.
 
Key sponsors of the event South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) and Germany’s GIZ chose the occasion to launch their new collaboration – a book called ‘The State of Wind Energy Research in South Africa’, including a presentation of their study results and a panel discussion on the gaps in wind energy research and how they can be addressed.
 
Dr Deborah Lew from GE Energy Consulting won the award for best presentation for her subject ‘Integrating Wind into Coal-dominated Power Systems’. Before she joined GE she spent 16 years with the National Energy Laboratory (NREL).
 
WindAc Africa is part of Wind Energy Week which also includes the 6th annual wind industry conference ‘Windaba 2016’ and an Industry Gives Back outreach day with the community of Atlantis.

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Students enjoying an educational visit to Biotherm Energy’s Dassiesklip Wind Farm

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30 students from universities across the country with the Director General Dr Phil Mjwara

For further information or to interview a member of SAWEA about the event, please contact Jo Reeves at jo@sawea.co.za

— ENDS —

About SAWEA
SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Its members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); to disseminate information; to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public. www.sawea.org.za
 
WindAc Africa
In its inaugural year, WindAc Africa is organised by SAWEA in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council and is positioned to become the leading academic wind conference on the Continent. The event, which will be held at The River Club in Cape Town, aims to be the platform for an international high-quality academic exchange, which will cover the entire wind-power value chain from wind resource to policy making for wind energy. An impressive international steering committee has been established to develop the programme content.  For the latest information on the programme visit: www.windac-africa.com
 
Windaba 2016
Windaba is the annual, official wind industry event hosted by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The annual conference and exhibition will take place on 2-3 November 2016, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. For further information, please visit www.windaba.co.za

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Towards 100% renewables: Wind energy conference offers forum for decisive action as a transformative year for the wind industry draws to a close

As South Africa’s leading wind energy event, Windaba, prepares to open its doors tomorrow (2 November), it is a time for continued action and sustained focus, according to the South African Wind Energy Association’s (SAWEA) CEO, Johan van den Berg. The theme of the conference is ‘Towards 100% renewables’ and much of the discussion will centre around how to make this a reality.

 

 
As South Africa’s leading wind energy event, Windaba, prepares to open its doors tomorrow (2 November), it is a time for continued action and sustained focus, according to the South African Wind Energy Association’s (SAWEA) CEO, Johan van den Berg. The theme of the conference is ‘Towards 100% renewables’ and much of the discussion will centre around how to make this a reality.

“We have a historic, global agreement at COP21 in Paris setting the scene for complete decarbonisation after 2050,” says Van den Berg. “This is the international context we have to bring home. We are assisted by South Africa’s incredible endowments of wind and solar resources and scientific studies suggesting that the lowest cost energy path for the country is now dominated by these two energy sources. The world has 35 years to figure this out, this year’s Windaba is all about finding out how we will do this in South Africa.”
 
Each year Windaba, organised in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) attracts high calibre speakers from around globe, keen to participate in a market that has grown exponentially in five years – going from 8 installed turbines to more than 550 in the ground, supplying low cost energy to the country’s grid.
 
Highlights at the event will include:

  • A snapshot of California’s ambitious renewable energy ambitions and some lessons learnt along the way by Angelina Galiteva, Founder & Board President at Renewables 100 Policy Institute – California Independent System Operator (CA ISO)
  • A view from Cedric Philibert, Senior Analyst International Energy Agency on “Matching variable supply with variable demand: the dynamic future of electricity systems”
  • A comprehensive “snapshot of a future South Africa running on 100% renewable energy in all economic sectors –  with specific reference to the role of wind energy” by Dr. Tobias Bischof-Niemz, Head of Energy – Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). This session will offer unprecedented insight into what an unconstrained Integrated Resource Plan 2016 might look like.

The occasion will also see the launch of a Wind Energy Map on SAWEA’s website which shows the location and development stage of all REIPPPP wind energy projects and links through to a page which highlights the Social Economic Development (SED) initiatives that are being carried out with local communities.

Holle Wlokas, PHD candidate at the Energy Research Centre at University of Cape Town, gathered the information for the SED case studies: “It is obvious that the wind industry in South Africa is working with and for communities with care, compassion and creativity. The achievements to date reflect the sincerity of the industry’s commitment to local community development.  And if you want to be bold… Only two years into the 20 year-long contracts with government and therefore also local communities, we can suggest that the wind industry, and renewables generally, might socially simply set a new standard in marrying sustainable development with infrastructure development.”
 
Those involved in the industry are eager to use the forum of Windaba to discuss how the sector can resolve the recent obstacles and restore confidence in the market: “This year’s Windaba comes at a pivotal time in our sector’s development” notes Duncan Ayling, General Manager of Wind Prospect Africa and member of SAWEA. “Whilst there has been turbulence over the first few years of the REIPPPP, the current uncertainty and delay is reaching unprecedented levels. It’s time for the sector to get together to debate this serious situation. Windaba will provide the perfect platform to engage and address this challenge.”
 
Windaba 2016 will be held from 2-3 November at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) more details and the programme can be found at www.windaba.co.za.

-Ends-
For further information or to interview a member of SAWEA about the event, please contact Jo Reeves at jo@sawea.co.za  Media passes are available at registration.

About SAWEA
SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Its members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); to disseminate information; to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public. www.sawea.org.za
 
Windaba 2016
Windaba is the annual, official wind industry event hosted by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The annual conference and exhibition will take place on 2-3 November 2016, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. For further information, please visit www.windaba.co.za.

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