2024 has started with multiple developments in the sector that require our urgent attention and swift action in positioning wind technology at the forefront of South Africa’s energy mix. This provides an opportunity to further strengthen our relationships with the Government and continue our advocacy efforts to support the rapid rollout of wind energy.
While our main focus remains on the critical issue of national grid capacity, we have our eye on the IRP 2023, REIPPPP BW7, and multiple private wind projects reaching fruition. The SAWEA team has hit the ground running in implementing our two main strategic priorities: to strategically engage members on industry-related matters, as well as the strategic stakeholder selection for focused engagement to facilitate increased integration of wind energy onto the grid.
The 2023 South African Renewable Energy Grid Survey, in partnership with Eskom points to wind projects having the potential to contribute as much as 35 617 MW of installed capacity, which could be added by as early as 2028 if supported by policy certainty and continuous procurement. We also understand that 22 000 MW of this untapped generating potential is situated in provinces other than the wind-energy-intensive Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces.
I am optimistic that market conditions are starting to look more favourable for the deployment of wind energy across South Africa. Recognising the pivotal role that wind energy can play in the energy mix, we have a responsibility as an industry to ensure that wind projects are built responsibly and sustainably to realise its benefits in the short term. There is no better time for us to intensify our advocacy role as an industry given the invaluable impact that we could have on energy security.
Through advocacy and industry support, we were able to secure of first big industry win for 2024 with the Exemption Outcome Letter for patterning of wind turbine blades at wind farms for avifaunal collision mitigation, which was approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This is a clear example that demonstrates the value of collective advocacy bringing us steps closer to getting more wind on the grid, with a stronger market share.
Operationally, I would like to officially communicate new interventions and changes that the Association has implemented. These changes include:
- a new website with a fresh look and interactive member portal,
- the restructuring of Working Groups, now referred to as Standing Committees, and
- a more intense communication plan to ensure that you are kept informed.
Members are encouraged to actively participate in these standing committees and provide constructive feedback to assist in amplifying the wind sector’s voice.
I’d also like to take the opportunity to remind members about the following important dates for the Association:
- Deadline to RSVP to attend AGM: 15 February 2024
- Internal IRP2023 submission deadline: 06 March 2024
- 2024 Annual General Meeting: 20 February 2024
2024 will not be an easy year, however, I am confident that collectively, we will make a significant impact on the sector and contribute significantly towards stabilising the grid. And with this, I thank all members for their continuous support in growing the association and certainly look forward to onboarding prospective members that share in our vision.
CEO, South African Wind Energy Association