Wind power is set to become a major source of energy in South Africa

Cabinet’s approved 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) outlines increased allocations for wind power, which will result in the renewable generation technology forming a greater part of the country’s energy mix.

The latest IRP states that by 2030, 14.4GW of South Africa’s energy mix will have been allocated to wind power. This is equal to 18% of the total energy in the country.

South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli told MyBroadband that South Africa will have to add 1.6GW of wind energy to the grid each year until 2030 to reach this goal.

On average, 640 steel towers and 1920 individual blades will need to be constructed and installed each year from 2022 until 2030 to meet the allocation of 1.6GW per year,” Ntombifuthi said.

“This translates to a total of about 5,700 new turbines by 2030.”

Clean energy over coal
In the short term, as load-shedding continues to cripple the economy, South Africans can expect 12 new wind farms to come online.

“Twelve wind farms are currently being constructed across the country and will begin coming on stream within the next few months, pushing much-needed power into the country’s national grid,” Ntombifuthi said.

“However, the industry needs further procurement to ensure that the next round of wind farms can begin construction in order to deliver in line with the country’s resource plan.”

Ntombifuthi said that the President’s State of the Nation (SONA) address did address the renewable sector, but it needed a clear timeline with support from the Minister.

“Most recently, the President’s SONA address gave a clear nod to the sector, but in order to deliver, a clear timeline that includes a Ministerial Determination is needed to kick-start next round of wind farms,” she said.

It is also important to note that as these wind farms are built across the country, around 12GW of coal power plants will be decommissioned between 2020 and 2030.

Ntombifuthi said this plan takes the opportunity to adopt a cleaner energy mix when replacing the generation capacity from these plants.

Wind farms all over South Africa
South Africa is in a prime position to take advantage of wind energy, Ntombifuthi said.

“South Africa offers exceptional wind resource potential throughout most of the country, but particularly along our extended 3,000 km coastline,” she said.

“To date, wind farms have been developed across the southern part of the country, with the majority situated in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, and the Western Cape being the third in line.”

There are many wind farm projects which are currently under construction, with even more slated for the next eight years.

Below is a list of South African wind farms currently being built, along with their generation capacity.

Facility                                      Power
The Nxuba Wind Farm                148MW
Oyster Bay Wind Farm               147.6MW
The Karusa Wind Farm               147MW
The Soetwater Wind Farm         147MW
Roggeveld Wind Farm                147MW
Garob Wind Farm                       144.9MW
Kangnas Wind Farm                   140.3MW
Golden Valley Wind                    120MW
Perdekraal East Wind Farm       110.4MW
Copperton Wind Farm                107.1MW
Excelsior Wind Energy Facility   32.5MW

Source: Transport & Construction