During a sector event this week in Cape Town, delegates placed impetus on the growing need for local manufacturing to expand beyond solely servicing the local market and explore innovative solutions.
Despite the current impasse, existing renewable projects in South Africa are transferring skills and creating jobs, with around 60,000 jobs created across 64 active projects in the REIPPPP to date.
Wind – a transformational driver
The wind industry in particular, with local content targets, has the potential to transform the South African energy landscape at grass roots level.
This was echoed by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), who said the wind industry is a significant foreign direct investment contributor, a driver of local socio-economic growth and provider of the major share of SA’s renewable power.
Already, with over 6,000MW of wind power already procured, and with more than 550 wind turbines already generating over half of renewable electricity into the SA grid, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO, Brenda Martin, said the sector is on track to early maturity. Read more…
Speaking at the conference, Nordex Acciona Windpower South Africa managing director, Anne Henschel, said: “Today we are preparing for further projects to be supplied with concrete towers coming from three different factories. The construction of these towers could potentially provide an investment of R750 million and generate employment for 470 people for 3 years.
“We need to consider an alternative to REIPPPP. We have to be innovative. We should be thinking about embedded electricity generation solutions, small-scale wind farm solutions and hybrid solutions with storage capabilities.”
Henschel noted that the industry needs to suggest new and forward thinking regulatory frameworks to drive this innovative thinking.