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SA grows wind energy by 560MW

Feb 12 2015 17:25
Dane McDonald

Cape Town – South Africa has grown its wind energy generating capacity by 560MW for 2014, according to a report released by the Global Wind Energy Council.

Globally the wind industry has set a new record for annual installations in 2014 with 51 477MW of generating capacity added, the GWEC said in a statement.

“The record-setting figure represents a 44% increase in the annual market, and is a solid sign of the recovery of the industry after a rough patch in the past few years.”

READ: Eskom to cut key industry's power for Zuma

According to GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer wind power is the most competitive way of adding new power generation capacity to the grid in a rapidly increasing number of markets around the world, "even when competing against heavily subsidised incumbents".

"Wind [energy] is a rapidly maturing technology, with proven reliability and competitiveness. Not only the low prices but also the cost-stability of wind power makes it a very attractive option for utilities, independent power producers and companies who are looking for a hedge against the wildly fluctuating prices of fossil fuels," he said.

A recent study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) found that renewable energy from South Africa’s first wind and solar projects created R800 000 more financial benefits to the country than they cost during 2014.

According to Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz, who head up the CSIR’s Energy Centre, the CSIR's study shows that in 2014 renewable energy provided a net financial benefit to the country.

“What is more, the cost per kWh of renewable energy for new projects is now well below R1 for solar PV and between 60c - 80c for wind projects. That will keep the net financial benefits of renewables positive, even in a future with a less constrained power system,” he said.

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csir  |  renewable energy

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