Status of Wind Generation in SA

What the UK can teach US cities

The Darling Wind Farm took 13 years to set up, with delays in the environmental impact assessment, and a desperate two-year legal battle by the developer to force the government to make its decision.

The go-ahead was finally given in 2005 after a 10-year development phase. The project suffered another setback when Eskom and Darling Independent Power Producer (Darlipp) were unable to come to a power-purchase agreement, but Cape Town stepped in with an offer to buy the clean electricity. Darling Wind Power, and was developed by a consortium of leading corporations in the energy and finance sectors. These are the renewable energy parastatal Central Energy Fund (CEF), private developer Darlipp, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

 

Eskom after several years of arguable maintenance of its equipments has seen its investments life time shrink and faces today major on-going repairs and new investments; as a matter of consequence, the plants are running flat-out to face current demand, leaving little space for preventive maintenance and increasing the number of already frequent blackouts. Eskom, in order to face its own challenge will have to hike considerably its costs to bring new infrastructure on stream. Government has stated that it wants to generate 10,000Gwh from renewable energy sources by 2013 – an equivalent to 4% of the forecasted power demand, which is equivalent to one 1,200MW power station. Within the next decade, close to 70% of the countries renewable energy needs to come from wind.