With blackouts hovering between stages 4 and 6 a permanent reality for many South Africans, and the contentious move by national government to prolong the lifespan of some of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations, the need to intensify our focus on renewable energy sources is now more urgent than ever before.
The Western Cape Government’s (WCG) Energy Resilience Programme is designed to enable private sector stakeholders to be a part of the solution to the enduring and damaging power crisis.
Premier Alan Winde’s 9th Energy Digicon put the focus on the potential of wind energy to become a more integral component in the province and country’s energy mix.
“We are open to looking at all feasible options to close the yawning gap between power demand and supply. We are no strangers in the Western Cape to wind, synonymous with our province. There is no reason at all that we should not welcome the likes of the “Cape Doctor” into our energy fold if it means ending power blackouts,” said the Premier.
Managing Director at Globeleq, Dhesen Moodley, was the Premier’s special guest this week. Globeleq is the majority owner of the Klipheuwel Wind Farm near Caledon – an iconic landmark of the Overberg. Globeleq is a prominent independent power producer in South Africa as well as across parts of Africa.
The Klipheuwel Wind Farm covers over 350 hectares:
- The 27MW facility is among the first of its kind arising from the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP);
- It comprises 9 turbines;
- It generates about 86GW/hour;
- Around 19000 households are provided with power.
Mr Moodley explained a significant challenge that the country needs to overcome is the limited grid capacity. He went on, “South Africa needs an accelerated grid investment to take us out of loadshedding in the next 10 years. We need to fast-track investment on a massive scale. We can do a lot more with renewable energy. Renewables are quicker.”
Premier Winde said, “The potential for wind and solar energy in the Western Cape is immense. We will continue helping the private sector to clear bottlenecks, such as red tape, so as to enable more businesses can innovate and become a part of the solution to end the energy crisis.”
Ahead of the digicon, Premier Winde and Provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger visited the wind farm. Standing at the base of one of the 90-metre-high turbines they were in awe of the technology and innovation that goes into such a facility.
“Apart from tapping power into thousands of households in the Overberg region, the turbines have become something of an iconic landmark for the area, as well as a reminder of the power of innovation and the increasing need for us to look to renewable energy sources, such as wind, which is in abundance in our province, to help us become energy resilient,” the Premier concluded.
To watch a recording of this week’s digicon please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUBe887mUeM
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.