South Africa is blessed with abundant wind resources. A number of publicly available wind atlas studies dating as far back as 1995 have consistently increased the estimates of the realistic wind potential in South Africa, from a very conservative 4% of SA’s electricity needs in 1995 to 30% in the 2008 Mesoscale Wind Atlas of South Africa. The more recent Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA) project promises to increase accuracy and add even more detail to where the best resources are located, enabling even better estimates of South Africa’s total wind potential to be made.

The Department of Energy’s IPP procurement program has just closed the first 634MW of wind farms which have already started construction. 563MW of Preferred Bidders from the second bidding round look set to start construction by the middle of this year with a third bidding window closing on 19 August. The increasing competitive pressure ensures that only the windiest sites now stand a chance of being selected in the third round, ensuring electricity tariffs for wind will reach grid parity sooner than expected. The high capacity factors of these real projects also show that the assumptions made in earlier resource estimates were indeed adequate, if not on the conservative side.

Key Speakers

Dr Kilian Hagemann

Director G7 Renewable Energies &

Board Member of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA)

Dr Kilian Hagemann has been active in the wind industry since 2002 when he became a board member of SAWEA. In 2004 he worked in Germany for Windtest Kaiser Wilhelm Koog (what is now part GL Garrad Hassan who recently merged with DNV) on wind measurements, resource assessments, modeling and power curve related consulting work, continuing this work later as part of the power curve measurement at the Darling wind farm in 2007/2008. At the end of 2008 he completed his PhD at the University of Cape Town, publishing the “Mesoscale Wind Atlas of South Africa” as the first comprehensive wind map covering the entire country. He worked extensively with the Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA) team during its inception and planning phase during 2009. He co-founded G7 Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd and is currently its managing director, G7 being a wind farm developer specialising in highly competitive wind farm projects across South Africa.