Dear SAWEA Members,
As we near the end of the year, it's a perfect time to look back and celebrate some of the incredible milestones we've achieved as a sector in 2023.
- The release of the Electricity Regulation Act Amendment Bill marks a pivotal moment that will set South Africa on the right direction to an open energy market. Our inputs have been presented and considered at parliament to ensure our voice is heard.
- We have spent considerable time and effort on addressing the grid constraint challenges. Our Grid Task Team being assembled and led by Mark Tanton, looked at several technical solutions to integrate more renewable energy on a constrained grid. The engagements with Eskom have been constructive and fruitful, together looking at the Interim Grid Capacity Allocation Rules, the Gated Process and Curtailment. Working together, we saw the allocation of grid to more than 2.2GW of Wind projects for private procurement.
- Following the BW6 market failure, we continue to push public procurement as a foundation to the sector’s growth. Just this week, we saw the release of BW7 with 3200MW of Wind allocation. While there are several outstanding matters, the intention by Government to bring on much needed new generation capacity through renewable energy is welcome.
- The Windaba 2023 Conference and Exhibition, our largest event to date, with over 1000 attendees over the 3-days covered key topics and facilitated solution driven conversations between Industry and Government. The growth in the conference is a clear indication of the importance afforded to unlocking more wind projects quicker.
- The #iworkinwind campaign has been well received by both members and stakeholders. The programme highlights job creation and future opportunities in the sector. Moving our focus to the people who are the engine of this forceful industry.
- Our initiatives continue to drive awareness, skills development, and empowerment. The successful launch of the Management Development Programme, enrolling 20 women contributed directly to transformation, empowerment, and sector diversity. Our EnergyDRIVE 2023's Cape Route reached 4,815 school learners over a 6-week tour of 22 schools.
We continue to grow the Association’s footprint and for the first time on two key international platforms. Our presence at Africa Energy Forum and CoP28 are significant milestones for the South African Wind Industry. We had the opportunity to showcase the industry achievements and learn from international experience on critical matters. It has been interesting to observe how many countries are experiencing similar challenges to ours.
Our presence at COP28, alongside Minister Creecy and our partners, GWEC, marked a significant step forward in the industries commitment to addressing climate change and its effects on people through our participation in the Just Energy Transition. Our conversations with key stakeholders, including Eskom, Presidency, Presidential Climate Commission, Labour Unions and the DFFE, focused on advocating the benefits of wind and together working on combating crucial issues affecting our sector.
Looking ahead, we have embarked on a full review of the Association’s priorities, its structure, and operations. Our strategic reflections from the facilitated Board Strategy Session and SAWEA Executive Team Strategy Session set the stage for changes, and these will be presented at the upcoming AGM, scheduled to take place early in 2024.
In the new year, our focus remains on the critical issue of national grid capacity, which is essential for the industry's future and our economy holistically.
I would like to take the time to thank the SAWEA team for their hard work and dedication. And a warm welcome to Nombukiso Ntshalintshali, our new Junior Technical Advisor, enhancing our dynamic team.
Despite encountering unforeseen setbacks, we should celebrate our remarkable achievements that significantly surpass any temporary shortfalls. I have full confidence that the experiences and lessons learned throughout 2023 will serve as a catalyst for improvement, enabling us to better support the industry toward a more successful and wind-filled future.
As we conclude the year, I extend warm wishes for a safe and restful festive season. Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication to our thriving industry. We are a key player in our country's economy, environment, and social fabric, fostering cooperation within the sector.
CEO, South African Wind Energy Association