Wind Energy: Is it an effective solution for South Africa?

South Africa is blessed with an excellent wind resource, a fact now proven by some of the lowest wind energy tariffs in the world.

The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is grossly out of date, using modern turbine technology we are able to harness wind energy extremely efficiently and economically. South African wind farms produce energy at lower rates than any other form of new build generation. It is likely that the price of wind energy will continue to decline, driven primarily by technical advancements and mass production, whilst at the same time the price for fossil-fueled energy will continue to increase due to ever shrinking resources.

Wind energy tariffs have continued to fall over the four bidding rounds of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to date, with tariffs in the fourth round averaging 62c/kWh!  In contrast, the planned coal fired power station, Kusile, will produce electricity at the cost of R1.38/kWh, when it is commissioned in 2019 – more than double the price of successful wind projects in the latest round!  The electricity price for diesel-powered open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) peaking plants is even higher: they produce electricity for the astronomical price of R6.91/kWh with many billions of tax payers money being spent annually to keep them running.

Modern wind turbines are increasingly more powerful and efficient. A single wind turbine of the latest generation can produce approximately 15 million kilowatt-hours per year at a good site, enough for the annual requirements of more than 5,600 low-income or about 2,400 mid-income South African households. Additionally, electricity generated by a wind turbine significantly reduces our carbon emissions. Compared to electricity generated in coal fired power plants, a single wind turbine saves about 1.7 million tons of the climate harming greenhouse gas, CO2, every year.

juwi has many years of experience in planning, financing, construction and management of more than 3,500 MW of wind energy. Our project management team integrates different interests in such a way that all parties involved will benefit, ensuring that at the end of each project there are high-quality turbines in optimal locations supplying clean energy to the national grid or businesses.

Contact Us

If you interested to find out more about Wind Project Development, please contact our Project Development team on +27 (0)21 831 6100.

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