Ramaphosa’s opinion on renewable energy projects welcomed

The opinion speaks to government's Integrated Resource Plan that sets the tone for investments in South Africa’s electricity sector.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a media briefing  at Megawatt Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Wind Energy Association has welcomed a presidential opinion calling for greater urgency in rolling out renewable energy projects.

President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote an opinion piece published on the Daily Maverick on Wednesday.

The opinion speaks to government's Integrated Resource Plan that sets the tone for investments in South Africa’s electricity sector.

Wind power forms a large part of that plan.

Furthermore, government is set to decide in the new year on a massive project that promises to deliver 140 megawatts into the national grid.

The Integrated Resource Plan makes room for power self-generation as well as purchases from independent power producers.

It lays down plans for the development of wind energy capacity amounting to 14.4 Gigawatt over the next 10 years. But it's a long-term project.

CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association Ntombifuthi Ntuli said from construction to commercial operation of a wind farm, it takes between 18 and 24 months.

The association is urging government to allow the sector to expedite the development of wind farms currently under construction.

“Wind farms usually have the additional capacity that can actually generate additional power that can be fed into the grid, but because of this Maximum Export Capacity, they’re not able to do that because they can only feed what has been agreed.”

Government published a Request for Information last week, calling on potential renewable energy developers to indicate their interest, as well as outline details regarding their projects.

There are 36 wind farms across the country.