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Global Wind Day: SA celebrates industry achievements

Today South Africa joins countries across the globe to celebrate Global Wind Day 2017. June 15 is a day for re-considering wind, and the power it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economy and boost jobs and growth.

In over 80 countries worldwide, wind farms generate clean and renewable power, and South Africa is no exception. From the shores of the Western Cape, across the Eastern and Northern Cape, to the Northern borders of South Africa, wind farms are producing power, creating local value and building futures.  

Since the first RE independent power producer (REIPP) started commercial operation at the end of 2013, 15 220 GWh have been generated, reducing carbon emissions by 15.4 Mtons. Of this, wind projects have contributed 7 603 GWh reducing carbon emissions by 7.7 Mtons.

“Our industry can be proud, not only of the clean, green, renewable power that we are putting into the national grid, but for what we are contributing to communities across rural South Africa,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of the South African Wind power Association (SAWEA).

In just three years South Africa has become the largest Wind power producer on the continent, generating 1.4 gigawatts from 600+ wind turbines.  Wind power avoids the power-related use of water by around 600 million litres each year.

Through the SA government-led RE Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REI4P), over the past four years Wind power has been directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives including thousands of jobs for local youth and women. While the programme implementation has been delayed for the past two years, due to an impasse with Eskom, this initial developmental impact can grow exponentially, once the outstanding Power Purchase Agreements are signed.  

“Among the delayed projects, approximately R7 billion, has been legally committed for socio-economic development by wind farms alone,” concluded Martin.

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