Wind energy, combined with other types of renewable energy, will be used to diversify the national electricity grid – meaning that South Africas electricity supply
will should eventually come from a variety of sources, including renewable clean energy from wind farms, solar plants, hydro resources, hybrid systems, as well as from the traditional coal and nuclear-powered stations. But why is it necessary to diversify South Africa’s energy production? Continue reading to find out about the successful wind farm initiatives that are already underway in South Africa.
The importance of renewable energy
Traditionally, electricity has been generated by coal-fired power stations and, until relatively recently, this has been considered the most effective and reliable means of producing electricity in South Africa. However, as the human population has continued to grow at a rapid pace, the global demand for electricity has soared. As a result, the world’s supply of finite fossil fuels has begun to diminish at a quicker rate, and once depleted, it will not be possible to restore them.
Moreover, the harmful environmental effects of burning these fuels to generate electricity have become impossible to ignore. During combustion, fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). These gases are considered to be major contributing factors to the escalating climate crisis, and nations all over the world are making efforts to reduce these gaseous emissions. The onus is thus on South Africa to do the same.
At this point in time, coal is still a fairly abundant and affordable resource in South Africa. Nonetheless, the harmful by-products of its use cannot be ignored – and it is also clear that South Africa’s power stations are unable to keep up with the increasing demand for electricity. This is the reason for load shedding that was recently experienced in different part of South Africa, and for the ever-increasing price of electricity.
Establishing wind energy in South Africa
In its 2003 White Paper on Renewable Energy, the DoE committed to diversifying national energy supply through sustainable sources. Specifically, it set a target of 17 800GWh to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2030. To meet this objective renewable energy projects such as wind farms have already been successfully established in South Africa, and several more large wind farm projects are in development. The Independent Power Producers (IPP) programme has been set up to help meet the short and long-term renewable energy objectives. Learn more about the advantages of wind power, and why wind energy is a great renewable energy solution for South Africa.