Wind Energy Programme

Wind Energy Research

RECORD/SANEDI is not currently conducting any basic or applied research in wind energy, since this is considered to be a mature technology and is being rolled out nationally through the governmenatl renewable energy programme (REIPPPP).  However, RECORD is very involved in training of expertise and skills to service the growing wind industry in South Africa.  Read more about this under the Capacity Building and Education Programme for the wind energy technician curriculm development and also the establishment of the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) for which RECORD provides/employs the centre manager and is an advisory board member.

Wind Atlas South Africa (WASA)

WASA shot

One of SANEDI's Renewable Energy projects is the ground mapping of the wind resource in the country and creating the Wind Atlas for South Africa (WASA). The main objective of the project is to develop, verify, employ numerical wind atlas methods, as well as develop capacity, to enable large scale of exploitation of wind energy in South Africa. This includes dedicated wind resource assessment and siting tools for planning purposes that can be used for feasibility studies in support of projects. The atlas is freely available to all interested parties now that Phase I (West coast and along to Eastern Cape) has been concluded, here. Phase II will begin shortly and will encompas the East coast moving inland to the Free State area.

South Africa seeks capacity and skills development for methods and data that would enable the authorities, investors, power sector and industry to investigate and plan for large-scale exploitation of wind power for electricity generation. This requires a methodology for mapping the wind resources on national and regional scales, as well as tools for estimating reliably the annual energy production (AEP) of proposed wind farms all over South Africa. The project in question is to be implemented as a so-called twinning arrangement between the South African project partners and DTU Wind Energy. The main aim of the twinning programme is to develop and employ numerical wind atlas methods and develop capacity to enable planning of large-scale exploitation of wind power in South Africa, including dedicated wind resource assessment and siting tools for planning purposes, i.e. a Numerical Wind Atlas and database for South Africa. The Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA) can find applications is at least two areas, namely to assist in the development of large grid connected wind farms and to provide more accurate wind resource data to identify potential off-grid electrification opportunities.

The WASA is financially supported by the Royal Danish Embassy (RDE) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the South African Wind Energy Project (SAWEP). SAWEP is a DOE anchored project which originated from the declaration by the then Minister of Minerals and Energy in June 2000 of the Darling Wind Farm as a National Demonstration Project and her request for international assistance in particular from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Danida (Danish International Development Agency). The 2-year UNDP/GEF SAWEP initiative sought to make available 'technical assistance' to the South African Government in terms of policy making and the development of the most appropriate financial instruments for policy implementation.

SANEDI, the South African Weather Services (SAWS), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and DTU Wind Energy (the Danish Research Institute and a world leader in wind energy) form the consortium undertaking the project with SANEDI as a coordinator. Each of these institutions brings specialised skills and knowledge, which will ultimately result in the success of the Wind Atlas for South Africa.