Brenda Martin, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association, welcomed the South African and International Wind energy industry to the 7th Annual International Wind Industry conference – Windaba 2017.
“The SA Wind power market is now well on track to early maturity, with over 6 000 MW of Wind power already procured, and with more than 550 wind turbines already generating over half of renewable electricity into the SA grid,” she said.
As a significant foreign direct investment contributor, a driver of local socio-economic growth and providing the major share of SA’s RE power, Wind power has become a meaningful direct contributor to South Africa’s economic growth.
In addition, many African countries are now able to look to South Africa’s REIPPPP lessons to leverage similar foreign direct investment and local economic development potential.
Globally, the unstoppable trend toward larger shares of renewable power to drive social and economic growth continues. The World Energy Outlook 2017, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London yesterday, presents a base case scenario that foresees the world’s growing energy needs being met first by renewables and natural gas over the coming 25 years. “Renewable sources of energy meet 40% of the increase in primary demand and their explosive growth in the power sector marks the end of the boom years for coal,” the publication states.
In addition to Industry-specific knowledge-sharing, showcasing businesses and networking are both key aspects of participating at Windaba. Please be sure to visit the exhibition area, make full use of meeting spaces and talk to any member of the SAWEA board about how we can assist your business.
Mark Pickering, Chair of SAWEA, addressed the issue of outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) that has plagued the renewable energy industry for the last two years. Taking a bullish view, the industry continues to look to the Department of Energy to carry out the government’s commitment to long term security of supply for the country. ‘We are incurable optimists, we wait for the tide to turn, and most importantly, we know that we are on the right side of history,” concluded Pickering.