CEO Voice: March 2021
I trust you had a good and safe Easter break. March has been an exciting month for the wind energy sector. The Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy announced preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme and announced the issuing of Bid Window 5. I would like to congratulate our members, EDF Renewables and G7 Renewable Energies, for being selected as preferred bidders for their hybrid projects which include wind power. These projects are making history as it is the first time in South Africa that we have wind, solar & battery storage combined in hybrid projects to provide dispatchable capacity.
Although we have learned with disappointment that there is a slight delay in the issuing of bid documents, we are excited about the announcement of two REIPPPP bidding windows over the next six months. This is very important progress for the sector as the last bidding window was 7 years ago (in 2014). This marks the rebirth of the wind industry and it also means we have to now roll up our sleeves as the sector is going to be very busy over the coming years. I was particularly impressed that government have lived up to their promise of announcing Bid Window 5 by end of the first quarter, now the onus is on the sector to deliver on the allocated capacity and economic development commitments.
This month the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released the 2021 Global Wind Report, and it was great to see South Africa being highlighted as the biggest contributor to Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of installed and planned wind energy capacity. Below are some of the highlights from the report:
- The global wind industry installed a record 93 GW of new capacity in 2020 – a 53% year-on-year increase, showing strong resilience in the face of COVID-19.
- Total global wind power capacity is now up to 743 GW, helping the world to avoid over 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 annually – equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of South America.
- However, the world needs to be installing a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy every single year to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, meaning that the industry and policymakers need to act fast to accelerate deployment.
- Governments across the world must take a ‘climate emergency’ approach to eliminate red tape and planning delays and expand grid infrastructure to further scale-up wind power at the pace required
- Wind power is a cornerstone of achieving net zero and powering a green recovery as a cost-competitive, resilient power source with the most decarbonisation potential per MW.
Wishing you a good month ahead as we eagerly await the Round 5 bid documents.