Wind industry to celebrate providing solutions to energy crisis at annual conference

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Powering the Winds of Change’ and reflects the industry’s conviction that wind energy can fill South Africa’s current energy gap with low cost, clean electricity which can be brought on grid within a relatively short time frame.

“Our current energy crisis is causing us all to look harder for a solution to our power shortages,” comments SAWEA CEO Johan Van den Berg.”The Government and the public are realising that wind energy can bring more electricity to the grid quickly and cheaply. The Government’s renewable energy procurement programme (REIPPPP) has stimulated investment and created a thriving market for wind energy. Now we are in the position where we can rise to the challenge of helping to keep the lights on.”

A report from the Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) earlier this year revealed that wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants saved South Africa R500 million more than they cost in 2014. Electricity produced from these plants saved the power system R4.8 billion in diesel, coal and avoided load-shedding – as well as reducing the inconvenience and wider economical impact of blackouts. The cost of the renewable electricity was R4.3 billion.

“The government has set up a ‘war room’ to try to solve the current crisis and they asked us to submit figures demonstrating how quickly the wind industry can provide more wind farms and contribute more power to the grid. We had already concluded that renewable energy brings the only affordable, short to medium-term solution prop up our grid,” explains Mr James White (Vestas).

The inaugural conference attracts wind industry professional from all over the world, with more than 500 delegates attending in 2014. Another line-up of impressive speakers and government representatives is expected again this year.



Editor’s notes:

For further information or to interview Johan Van den Berg, please mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +27 (0) 11 2140664.

WINDaba is the official wind industry event hosted by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with GWEC. The annual conference and exhibition will take place from 4-5 November 2015, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. For further information please visit

CSIR report referenced:


SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Its members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); to disseminate information; to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public.

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