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R55bn for wind energy

Author: Admire Moyo

With SA facing crippling power shortages, the private sector has invested R55 billion in the wind energy industry over the past three years. 

This was revealed by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), commemorating Global Wind Day this week. 

According to Johan van den Berg, CEO of SAWEA, all the money to build new wind farms is presently privately sourced. Government is supporting the process by providing a 20-year commitment to buy the power at an agreed price from the lowest bidders, he explains. 

All energy investments are capital-intensive, he points out, adding a 20 000MW wind sector in today’s terms might cost R430 billion, which is still less than half the projected cost of a nuclear fleet of half the size. 

This capital can all be sourced privately and, over a 15-year timeline, is fundable as long as the government continues to supply long-term agreements to purchase the power. “This model places no risk on the taxpayer or ratepayer for cost over-runs or delays.”

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