South Africa could lead continent's energy revolution

The South African Government has pledged to back an increase in wind power as its Department of Energy announced the winning bids from the first round of tenders for renewable energy projects.

Announced at COP17, last night (December 7), the South African's said they plan to install 630MW of wind projects and a similar quantity of solar PV.

According to the Department for Energy a further 2200MW of renewable projects will be announced over the coming two years.

The news was welcomed by the Global Wind Energy Council's secretary general, Steve Sawyer, he said: "We have lift-off.

"The South African government is to be congratulated for taking the first step towards putting this country in a position to lead the energy revolution in Africa.

"Much of sub-Saharan Africa has tremendous wind and solar potential, a dynamic and growing economy and severe water shortages; perfect conditions to grow a renewable energy industry.

"We hope that South Africa will be the hub and driver of that development, 1000s of new high quality jobs and billions in investment based on the development of clean indigenous energy sources will provide a major boost to the fledgling economies in the region."

South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan, adopted in 2010, calls for 8400MW of wind power over the course of the next 20 years, but assuming the wind and solar sectors start to take off as expected, those numbers could rise 'substantially', according to Mr Sawyer.

All of the winning bidders announced today have six months to reach financial closure, further details and information can be found on

Luke Walsh


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