Energy experts came together to discuss offshore wind potential being a possible answer to decarbonisation in South Africa at this year’s Windaba conference.
South Africa was one of many nations that signed an intended nationally determined contribution to commit to reducing carbon emissions, COP21. This pledge requires the country to decrease carbon emissions by over 40% by 2025, and according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, renewable energy is the most logical and feasible means of achieving this.
With this ambitious and mammoth undertaking, a number of energy experts, academics and research studies view offshore wind as the answer.
Mercia Grimbeek, Chair of the South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), shared: “The wind market in South Africa is currently focussed on onshore wind because we have the land space available and its cost-competitive, which means almost all of our members are developing onshore wind.”
She added: “Although we don’t think we will see the first offshore development in the country until 2030, it is certainly an area worth investigating, which is why we’ve included this in our Windaba discussion. Good wind sites will be taken up during the next decade as we build 14.4GW of wind power, and this is a good prompt for investigation into offshore wind to begin now. We have seen an increased focus from academia on this topic and as an industry, we support it and look forward to the outcomes.”
Addressing delegates at the 2021 Windaba Conference, Laura Peinke, Senior International Trade Specialist – Energy (South Africa) for Scottish Development International (SDI) sees huge potential for South Africa in this untapped energy resource.
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