Kilian Hagemann, director at G7 Renewable Energies (one of SA’s leading large-scale wind farm developers), rates wind power as the leading technology available to meet South Africa’s renewable energy targets. “It’s the only technology that has really been successfully rolled out on a large scale worldwide and we have a wide variety of international projects to learn from to ensure a successful implementation in SA. According to Hagemann, South Africa can expect to see its first large-scale wind farms operating in late 2013 if the procurement process is concluded by the end of this year.”
“We expect the SA market for wind-power to grow significantly over the next three years. I’ve had various meeting with role-players, including government officials, and it seems clear to me that the current SA administration is intent upon moving increasingly towards renewable as far as energy supply is concerned.”
According to figures submitted to the Department of Environment Affairs there are 40 wind farms likely to be erected in the Western Cape and if these are approved, about 2 800 turbines will be installed around the province.
At least five of the proposals for new wind farms have not stipulated how many turbines they are likely to build to supply electricity to the provincial grid.
There are 31 applications for wind farms in the Eastern Cape.
Each wind farm application has to be accompanied by an environmental impact assessment. Each turbine is between 80 metres and 120 metres tall, the height of a 20-or 30-storey building.
The wind farms sites are all reasonably close to the national electricity grid but are scattered throughout the provinces and sited in places where there is a consistent supply of wind.
The smallest wind farm application is at Albertinia where just six turbines are likely to be built. The biggest wind farm is expected to rise at Middleton near Bedford in the Eastern Cape where 685 turbines will be built if the province approves the plan.
The government’s Integrated Resource Plan 2010 says that 19,7% of new electricity generation will come from wind power as part of its plan to stop the country’s reliance on coal-fired electricity generation in the future.
In terms of the Integrated Resource Plan (developed by Government), SA will have approximately 11 000MW of wind power by 2030, which might be 3000 turbines in all across the entire country.