The industry organization, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), urges key stakeholders, including governments, economies and communities, to put in place policies that will increase ambitions and remove obstacles to the massive increase in investment in wind energy to help achieve the global net-zero climate goals.
As a member and participant of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) COP26 Working Group and working in collaboration with its global counterparts, SAWEA joins GWEC to launch this call ahead of COP26 to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November. 12.
SAWEA also reiterates its commitment to ensuring that South Africa’s wind industry aligns with global plans.
âThe COP26 manifesto calls for wind energy to be a major contributor to global decarbonisation strategies. The manifesto also calls for a commitment on schedules for dismantling coal-fired power plants.
âAs a signatory to the manifesto, SAWEA has provided support to ensure that local political commitments regarding decommissioning are met in a manner that is economically feasible for the local economy, as well as to prioritize the continued development of the wind sector.
âWith the latest carbon dioxide emissions targets released by the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC), we see increased state commitment to decarbonize and we recognize this commitment as symbolic to alleviate the global climate emergency. The revised targets commit South Africa to a reduction of 350 to 420 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) emissions by 2030 â, says SAWEA technical program manager Letlhogonolo Tsoai.
Over the past ten years, wind power has contributed to the production of 60.7 million tonnes of CO2-eq reduction that has been achieved through the use of renewable energy in South Africa, she adds.
âOur role is to ensure the industry’s alignment with the global agenda and to ensure that the manifesto remains representative of our local ambitions, for which we will advocate the necessary policy changes.
âReferring to South Africa’s first comprehensive climate legal framework, namely the Climate Change Bill, and the global goal of net zero until 2050, SAWEA believes that the deployment of wind and other renewable energy sources will go a long way in enabling decarbonization, âTsoai says.
The South African power system’s transition to net zero will require the deployment of around 150 GW of wind and solar capacity by 2050, nearly four times the total capacity of South Africa’s coal plants today. . This represents an investment of around 3 trillion rand over the next 30 years, requiring expansion and major upgrades of transmission and distribution infrastructure, âsaid the executive director of PCC. Olver Crispian.
“To reach net zero by 2050, South Africa will need to accelerate the deployment of its renewable energy capacity, and 4 GW of renewable energy will need to be installed each year, which is about ten times the current rate. new constructions, âhe notes. .
It is widely accepted that in addition to accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, the reallocation of declining coal-fired power plants and support for the manufacture of electric vehicles and an export-oriented green hydrogen industry should all be included in mitigation efforts.
âBy 2050, an electricity system dominated by renewables will be the most cost-competitive system for South Africa,â Olver said.
Meanwhile, the climate change bill is expected to be tabled in parliament soon and is expected to provide a coordinated and integrated response of the economy and society to climate change and its impacts.
The bill also provides for effective management of the impacts of climate change, specifies that mitigation efforts must be based on the best available science, evidence and information, and gives effect to South Africa’s international commitments and obligations. on climate change, according to SAWEA.