As blackouts in South Africa intensify, with parts of the nation enduring between 4 to 8 hours with no electricity, the Western Cape Government is now exploring various solutions to ameliorate the crisis in the Province. The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, is looking at wind energy as one of the solutions to the perpetuating power blackouts currently engulfing the Western Cape as result of the state utility Eskom’s inability to supply the province’s electricity demand.
The Premier highlighted how the Western Cape’s strong winds can be harnessed to supply the province with clean renewable energy at the 9th Energy Digicon last week. Energy Digicon is an online event hosted weekly by the Premier to update the province on activities his administration is undertaking to address the power crisis.
“We are open to looking at all feasible options to close the yawning gap between power demand and supply. We are no strangers in the Western Cape to wind, synonymous with our province. There is no reason at all that we should not welcome the likes of the “Cape Doctor” into our energy fold if it means ending power blackouts,” said the Premier.
The Premier’s special guest at the 9th Energy Digicon was Dhesen Moodley, Managing Director at Globeleq South Africa. Globeleq is the majority owner of the Klipheuwel Wind Farm near Caledon in the Western Cape. The Premier visited the facility ahead of the digicon, together with the Provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister Mireille Wenger, Mr Moodley and Niveshen Govender, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).
The Klipheuwel Wind Farm covers over 350 hectares:
- The 27MW facility is among the first of its kind arising from the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP);
- It comprises 9 turbines;
- It generates about 86GW/hour;
- Around 19000 households are provided with power.
Mr Moodley explained a significant challenge that the country needs to overcome is the limited grid capacity. He went on, “South Africa needs an accelerated grid investment to take us out of loadshedding in the next 10 years. We need to fast-track investment on a massive scale. We can do a lot more with renewable energy. Renewables are quicker.”
Premier Winde said, “The potential for wind and solar energy in the Western Cape is immense. We will continue helping the private sector to clear bottlenecks, such as red tape, so as to enable more businesses can innovate and become a part of the solution to end the energy crisis.”