Wind Energy’s leading role in SA’s energy action plan

Following the National Energy Crisis Committee’s six-month progress update on implementation of the Energy Action Plan, released earlier this year, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has commended the Government’s transparency and inclusion of the public on its progress towards addressing energy security, and has welcomed the changes. However, it has advised that there are a number of key focus areas that require additional intervention and swift action within the five objectives outlined in the plan, with a clearer scope of wind energy integration, mainly infrastructure investment in wind projects.

Continue reading View more

Working in wind campaign to shine light on depth and impact of reemployment

As the country’s Energy Action Plan takes centre stage to deliver new power generation and steer the country’s accelerated energy transition, SAWEA has launched a campaign to highlight the role that the industry plays as an employer. The Association believes that whilst there is general awareness around the wind sector’s successful delivery of clean power to the grid, few are aware of the employment impact, both directly and indirectly.  

Continue reading View more

Wolf Wind project in Eastern Cape breezes one step closer to generating power for national grid

An 84MW Wolf Wind project in the Eastern Cape has reached financial close, and is projected to start generating electricity for the national grid by the first quarter of 2024.

By Neesa Moodley

However, the South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) warns that several key focus areas require additional intervention and swift action, with a clearer scope of wind energy integration, mainly infrastructure investment in wind projects. Juwi Renewable Energies reports that exploding public and private demand for large-scale renewables because of South Africa’s energy crisis has led to the rapid expansion of its national footprint, with more than 1.5GW of wind, 2GW of solar and 500MW of hybrid projects incorporating storage in development for private and public energy users. 

The Wolf Wind project, two hours outside Gqeberha, was successfully bid by Red Rocket in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P). Wolf Wind is the second wind project developed by Juwi to reach financial close under the REI4P — the first being the 138MW Garob Wind Project, which reached commercial operation in 2021. 

Richard Doyle, the managing director of Juwi South Africa, says Juwi plans to initiate the development of a further combined 1GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects this year. The Wolf Wind Project is expected to generate more than 360GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid each year, offsetting 374,400 tonnes of CO2 each year. The project is expected to usher in more than R200-million worth of community investment over 20 years through local social projects, according to Matteo Brambilla, chief executive of bidder Red Rocket. 

“A key barrier to bringing large projects like Wolf online is grid capacity,” says Chris Bellingham, head of project development for Juwi South Africa.

“While we are working on ways to overcome the challenges imposed on many of our projects by the Cape grid constraints, to meet the significant and growing demand for clean reliable power, we’re also actively developing a large portfolio of new and regionally diverse projects in unconstrained areas of the country’s grid.” 

Positive economic contribution

Wind, as one of the most cost-effective renewable energy sources, has significantly demonstrated its positive economic contribution with a total procurement by wind IPPs during construction and operations to date exceeding R9-billion in value.

Sawea’s chief communications officer, Morongoa Ramaboa, says renewable energy is being embraced by the government through the Just Energy Transition investment plan, as well as the prioritisation of solar, wind, gas and storage projects at nine of Eskom’s power stations.  

“We believe that this will ultimately support our urgent need for energy security, effectively reducing load shedding and the resulting detrimental impact on our green economy.”

Ramaboa says Sawea welcomes the government’s approach to accelerate private investment in generation capacity, through the removal of the licensing requirement for generation projects of any size, the reduction of timeframes for regulatory approvals, as well as the establishment of a “one-stop shop” for energy projects through Invest SA.

However, she notes that there is room for public and private procurement to ensure that energy security is achieved across the entire value chain.

“The ideal is to create an environment that encourages and accelerates investment injection into the economy, removing the pressure from public fiscus, and to stimulate the private sector to invest in their own energy supply and create new industries,” she says.

Niveshen Govender, the chief executive of Sawea, says a clearly defined queueing system needs to be urgently implemented with a balanced view between publicly and privately procured electricity. 

“Ministerial determination for over 18,000MW of new generation capacity from wind, solar and battery storage should be prioritised since it was published in August last year,” he says, noting that the intention to enable businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar, is a good start towards addressing the country’s energy crisis. This requires the development of a net billing framework for municipalities to enable customers to feed electricity from rooftop solar installations into the grid.

Ramaboa says Sawea is looking at investment opportunities to integrate wind energy for the use of businesses and households to supplement the use of PV panels, especially in areas that are prone to strong wind conditions.

“In order to realise our vision of becoming a thriving commercial wind power industry that supports government in its mandate to secure energy for South Africa, we cannot afford a repeat of the latest failed public procurement bid window (BW6), which has resulted in the loss of investment and market confidence. 

“The current system for allocating grid access remains a pressure point as it marginalises capable and willing organisations that can contribute significantly to the supply of electricity,” Govender says. 

Article courtesy of Daily Maverick

View more

Wind industry looks to new electricity minister to drive the energy action plan

The South African Wind Energy Association has issued a statement of support for President Ramaphosa’s leadership and firm commitment to fixing the country’s electricity crisis, as stated in his 2023 SoNA.  

Continue reading View more

SAWEA announces new board to lead wind sector’s role in SA’s energy landscape

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has announced its new Board of Governance, following its 11th Annual General Meeting held in January 2023. As the country accelerates its energy transition and pushes for energy security, the men and women who hold positions on this board will be charged with steering and advocating for wind.

Continue reading View more

Energy liberalisation to raise the country’s energy availability level

Having exceeded the 150th day of load shedding this year, South Africa’s economy continues to feel the strain of the energy availability factor (EAF), which is not able to reach the required levels.  The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) acknowledges that whilst the problem is simple, developing solutions for the energy crisis is complex and requires the right expertise for planning.

Continue reading View more

Energy liberalisation to raise the country’s energy availability levels

Having exceeded the 150th day of loadshedding this year, South Africa’s economy continues to feel the strain of the energy availability factor, which is not able to reach the required levels. The South African Wind Energy Association acknowledges that while the problem is simple, developing solutions for the energy crisis is complex and requires the right expertise for planning.

At the heart of the plan, the Association is’ advocating for ‘Energy Liberalisation’ underpinned by a number of mechanisms. Specifically, Demand Side Management (DSM), where new generation capacity, for own use, must be considered as a mechanism to reduce demand and increase supply. “We believe that whilst the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) amendment bill is the right policy intervention to support a liberalised energy market in South Africa, the removal of the license requirement for own use projects will not have the desired outcomes if not implemented efficiently and effectively,” explains Niveshen Govender, CEO of SAWEA.

He adds, “Policy alone is not enough, we must manage and improve the bureaucracy of the process required to build new generation capacity and renewable energy capacity specifically.”

The Association believes that there needs to be more and better coordination between stakeholders and that political will and regulatory frameworks should be forthcoming. The industry is calling for a clear, transparent and documented process to guide a number of blockages to delivering new generation.

“Our industry needs grid connection application, and wheeling conditions need to be standardised and finalised nationwide; as well as permitting requirements and processes that are accessible and practical,” says Govender.

Acknowledging that energy solutions will largely be funded privately, typical investor conditions should be encouraged to create investor confidence.

Private Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) is new territory for South African Independent Power Producers and at this point still represents a fairly high risk for the producers, with contention around risk allocation between parties.

“Once we have the first few projects over the line, the industry will be able to iron out a number of the issues at play, but as it stands the industry needs to unpack a number of requirements for the private off-take market to achieve bankability,” concluded Govender.

View more

Thousands of high school learners anticipate yellow edu-tainers arrival

The custom-built EnergyDRIVE truck has kicked-off its 2022 tour of the country, commencing its trek from Cape Town before heading across the three Cape provinces, where it will visit around 2 000 learners across 21 schools, before making its way back to the Durban University of Technology (DUT).  This is the fourth and most expansive trip since the partnership between the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and DUT started in 2017, sharing the benefits of renewable energy technologies with thousands of learners in outlying communities across the country.

Continue reading View more

Applications for the Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP) 2023

The South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is excited to announce that Wind Industry Internship Programme (WIIP) will be running for the second time in 2023. WIIP first launched in 2022 January, where 15 interns where placed and mentored by SAWEA member organisations for a period of 12 months.

Continue reading View more

Wind industry stands together in support of the Just Energy Transition training facility in Mpumalanga

In support of the Eskom Just Energy Transition Strategy, SAWEA has confirmed that it is working together with Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) and other renewable energy industry players, to support the establishment of a renewable energy training centre at Komati Power Station, in Mpumalanga.

Continue reading View more