CEO Blog

by Johan van den Berg, CEO of SAWEA

Johan van den Berg is the CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association, the Chair of the South African Renewable Energy Council and the African Private Sector Focal Point for the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. A barrister, he has spent eighteen years in dispute resolution; environmental mediation; climate change avoidance/emissions trading and renewable energy in Southern Africa. He is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Energy.

Community development through the IPP’s

How to capacitate the industry to make a meaningful contribution?

Community involvement and socio economic development have emerged as key issues in the success of the South African wind industry moving forward. The ERC at UCT have been very pro-active in furthering debate and learning in these fields and recently hosted a workshop that was well attended by key role players.  The ERC team were kind enough to adapt their report on the workshop into the blog post below. The full report is available to members here. We thank Holle Wlokas, Leonie Joubert and Louise Tait for sharing their work with us.   

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Environmental Authorisations

Wind clusters and special zones for wind development

Environmental authorisation (EIA EA) has proven to be one of the most critical milestones in the life of a South African wind energy project. Under the REIPPP rules, it is only possible to bid if the EA is in hand, and the timeline has generally proven to be longer than a year. Moreover, the outcome is uncertain to the last. To developers spending funds in parallel on other development imperatives, the uncertainty and frequent delays can be unnerving, to say the least.

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Wind REIPPP round 1 PPA's signed:

 Industry rocket launch after a slow count-down

After years of hopeful work on the early stages of project development, giving inputs to the regulatory regime and breathing deeply at successive set-backs, it all came together for the wind energy pioneers on Monday, 5 November 2012, when the Round 1 projects gathered with Eskom and government representatives to sign their respective Power Purchase Agreements.

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Logistical challenges facing wind power in the short and medium term in South Africa

“As members who regularly visit the Working Group Facebook pages of the SAWEA website will know, SAWEA has nine industrious Working Groups dealing with various subjects that are important to the collective. In the weeks to follow, leaders of Working Groups will be invited to brief the broader  readership on matters pertinent to their Working Group. This week, Lee Smith, who heads the Logistics Working Group, shares his views on the Logistical challenges facing wind power in the short and medium term in South Africa.” - Johan van den Berg

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Marrying long term country benefits with short term industry challenges

The significant political momentum evident now in renewable energy is built on 3 pillars:
  • Greening our economy from a climate perspective and avoiding adverse export consequences like border tax adjustments in countries that produce in a cleaner manner than ourselves;
  • Increasing electricity supply in order to grow the economy;
  • Creating jobs and reinvigorating the South African manufacturing sector.

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