Dear SAWEA Community,
I want to extend my deepest appreciation for the overwhelming support we received during the Windaba Conference & Exhibition 2023. This event served as a crucial industry platform, allowing us to reflect on our progress and celebrate the remarkable developments in the wind energy sector. This has been the largest Windaba Conference and Exhibition gathering so far with more than 1000 people in attendance over the 3 days.
I am thrilled to share some highlights from the conference, including the launch of the Community Engagement Booklet at Windaba Connect and the positive reception to Bird Strike mitigation measures, such as blade patterning, implemented at various wind farms. Additionally, the unveiling of the first Status of Wind in Africa Report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) painted a promising picture of Africa’s wind power footprint, identifying 83 installed wind farms totaling 9GW, with more than a third of the continents wind energy installed capacity attributed to South Africa.
The announcement of the Offshore Wind Roadmap project for South Africa by the World Bank Group marks a significant step forward for our industry. The presence of key industry leaders across the wind value chain at Windaba further distinguished our conference.
The attendance of Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister of Electricity in the Presidency, and Mr Alana Winde, the Western Cape Premier, together with long-standing supporters of Windaba, including the DMRE, IPPO, DFFE, Eskom, PCC, underscores our progress in collaborating with the government and advocating for the integration of wind energy amid ongoing grid constraints.
As we delve into the 2023 GCCA and await updates on the IRP and REIPPPP BW7, it is essential for our members to thoroughly review the content and actively participate in discussions. The delays in these developments pose challenges to investor and industry confidence, especially considering the exclusion of wind in BW6.
Our association remains committed to addressing these critical issues, including IGCAR and the newly proposed gated process and its impact on our sector through participation and collaboration with the energy council through the NECOM structure. We highly value the contributions of our members and encourage continued engagement to strengthen our collective industry voice.
On the operational front, we are in the thick of strategy planning for the next three years to ensure that we better service our members and advocate for increased wind energy market share. We look forward to presenting the updated strategic plan at the AGM planned for the end of January 2024.
I would like to bid farewell to Ms Oratiloe Sathekge, our Technical Coordinator, and wish her success in her future endeavors. Simultaneously, we are excited to welcome Ms Nombukiso Ntshalintshali as our incoming Junior Technical Advisor, and we look forward to introducing her to the SAWEA community.
Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication to advancing wind energy in South Africa.
CEO, South African Wind Energy Association