South Africa - The 9th annual Windaba Conference and Exhibition that will take place on 8-9 October 2019 in Cape Town, at the CTICC will this year and for the first time expand its focus to include the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.
This comes after a realisation by organisers of the event that growing energy security concerns in South Africa are true for the rest of the continent, where access to energy plagues close to 1 billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
Themed, ‘Unleashing Renewable Power for African Economic Development’, this year’s Windaba event will evaluate wind energy’s role in ensuring economic development and how releasing the remaining constraints to growth can lead to greater social and economic impacts.
The event will also bring together industry leaders, investors, power producers and pioneers to discuss ways in which wind power can be unleashed to address South Africa’s economic development and that of other African countries.
Recent data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that renewable energy capacity has grown in all regions of the world, emerging and developing economies included with Africa’s 8.4 per cent growth putting it in third place.
South Africa is a leader across Sub-Saharan Africa in the wind industry and stands to gain from expanding markets across the continent. And a bigger wind energy market will benefit the local manufacturing sector, thereby creating long-term sustainable employment opportunities. Furthermore, this will have the potential to contribute to the country’s green economy objectives and objectives of the National Development Plan, all of which hinge on a coordinated supportive policy environment that supports smooth power procurement as part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REI4P).
“With the promising development of the Integrated Resource Plan potentially leading to continuous smooth procurement, coupled with the potential capacity to expand and build a supply chain locally, South Africa is poised to serve the Sub-Sahara. Furthermore, South Africa has become a centre of competence for project development and is geared to spread beyond borders,” commented Janek Winand, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy in South Africa, who will be speaking at this year’s Windaba conference.
Also commenting on the inclusion of the rest of Africa in this year’s Windaba, Mercia Grimbeek, Chair of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), said, “REI4P continues to be the most exciting wind energy opportunity globally. Many countries are looking to learn from SA’s experience and leapfrog to the next development level. It is the innovative technology that the African power sector needs.”