Research and consulting firm, GlobalData released a report last week identifying South Africa as the likely new hotspot for wind installation.
The report describes the large wind potential throughout South Africa, and predicts the country to install an extra 3 GW of wind power by 2020, raising the country’s cumulative installed wind capacity up to 5.6 GW.
South Africa currently meets 77% of its energy needs directly from coal, and the South African energy sector emits 250 million tons (MT) of carbon dioxide annually.
Until 2012, the wind industry in South Africa was almost non-existent, with just about 10 MW of installed wind capacity, which was installed over 10 years.
A further 30 MW was installed in 2013, 606 MW in 2014 and 483 MW in 2015, reaching a total of 2 GW in 2016 – a 1900% increase in just four years.
Notwithstanding, South Africa is still new to the wind industry, and it has huge wind power potential.”
GlobalData believes that the country’s “newfound focus on wind power” will help drive the country closer towards its climate targets.
In 2015, South Africa submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC) ahead of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), stating that it intends to strike a balance between the much-needed development of power capacity and the necessity to limit greenhouse gas emission.
With more capacity additions underway, wind power will account for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa by an estimated 6.4 MT in 2020 and 12.7 MT in 2025.