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South Africa

South Africa

Government considers national wind power strategy

South Africa is to develop a national plan for wind generated electricity, promoting its integration and bringing jobs and investment to the area. A series of policy guidelines for the proposed Renewable Energy Strategy were discussed at a meeting of the Department of Minerals and Energy in Pretoria last month. Measures called for the establishment of a renewable energy fund, together with subsidies to support market penetration. The document also demands support for investors and consumers as well as encouragement for large scale local manufacturing. Its target is to get 5% of the national grid supplied power from renewables by 2010. The government has already established the Darling National Windfarm Project as the frame by which it can formulate policy and develop a national legal and regulatory system for bulk wind energy generation in South Africa. Hermann Oelsner, chairman of the South African Wind Energy Association, and who is behind the project, believes the R30 million 5 MW farm will launch South Africa into the era of bulk sustainable power. He called the national plan "encouraging" and is confident it will be passed by government.

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