South Africa

South Africa

Wind set for bulk of new South African capacity to 2030

South Africa's government expects 14.4GW of new wind power capacity to be installed between 2022 and 2030 under its final Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) -- more than any other energy source in this period.

South Africa currently has 2.2GW of installed wind power capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence (pic: Iberdrola)
South Africa currently has 2.2GW of installed wind power capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence (pic: Iberdrola)

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It proposed awarding enough capacity to ensure annual installations of 1.6GW between 2022 and 2030, in addition to 244MW in 2019, 300MW in 2020 and 818MW in 2021, building from a current base of 1,980MW.

Wind will be allocated more capacity than any other energy source in the IRP, which also includes plans for new coal, gas and nuclear plants. 

It is forecast to contribute 17.8% of annual energy generation in South Africa by 2030, second only to coal, which will provide 58.8%, despite its capacity falling from 39.1GW to 33.8GW.

More than 3.3GW of wind power projects have been awarded contracts in the four tender rounds held under South Africa’s renewables procurement plan (REIPPP).

In September 2018, the then-energy minister Jeff Radebe announced a fifth tender round for 1.8GW of renewable energy projects would be held following approval of the IRP.

It proposes allocating 6.3GW more wind capacity than an earlier draft.

South Africa’s Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) described the plan as a "positive step". 

"With this allocation the OEMs and first-tier suppliers can commit to local manufacturing of certain components, which contributes to job creation," said SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli. 

The IRP also suggests an additional 2.1GW of storage capacity could be added — bringing the country's total storage capacity to 5GW.

Energy minister Gwede Mantashe said combining renewable energy sources such as wind with storage presents an opportunity to produce distributed power closer to where demand is and to provide off-grid electricity to far-flung areas in South Africa.

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