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Academia’s leading voices add to SA’s wind energy dialogue

WindAc Africa 2023, kicked-off its sixth instalment today, coinciding this year with the industry’s Windaba Connect event, where keynote speaker Premier Winde demonstrated his commitment to the Western Cape Provinces’ push for energy security, private sector investment and the influencing of policy in renewable electricity generation capacity.

Correspondingly, Dr Gareth Erfort, a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University and a leading voice in the renewable energy sector, launched the academic conference, with an opening address delivered to attendees from across the country and abroad.

“Attracting over 70 delegates, WindAc Africa once again includes a special programme for high potential young people from universities across the country, demonstrating a commitment to the next generation.  A trip to a close by Western Cape wind farm as well as the nearby renewable energy training facility, is always a draw card for attending students, as it helps to put the impressive wind power technology into perspective,” said Niveshen Govender, CEO of the South African Wind Association, hosts of this conference.

With Denmark being one of the leading pioneers of wind power, the Danish Embassy of South Africa has sponsored 20 students to attend this academic conference, as part of its role as the headline sponsor.

WindAc’s programme looks at topics that not only cover technical and policy elements, but incorporates socioeconomic, and environmental aspects of the wind industry, whilst emphasising academic interaction across disciplines. Furthermore, the conference works to clearly establish a road towards achieving a successful power transition to a greater share of renewables.

The academic community in South Africa and in many parts of the globe, is being acknowledged for the role that it plays in clarifying and scrutinizing data and evidence across a myriad of disciplines, to support the success of the industry.  

NOTE: WindAc Africa is hosted by SAWEA over three days, 3 – 5 October 2023, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  This conference is positioned to be the pre-eminent academic wind conference in Africa, while simultaneously becoming the foremost sponsorship opportunity for excellent wind energy students from Southern African research institutions. It sets out to achieve this status by elevating knowledge of wind power supply through Africa and the world, while also strengthening the cooperation between South African universities and the wind industry.