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South Africa harnesses power of the wind

Over 1 gigawatt (GW) of power from wind energy is already feeding much-needed electricity into the country’s grid, according to the South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea). This figure equates to the supply of 511 000 household’s average energy consumption, it says.


This calculation is based on household consumption of 6.000 kiloWatt hours per year, supplied by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and an average capacity factor of 35% from the wind turbines. Sawea points out that this is a conservative figure as many turbines are performing closer to 40% plus.

There is much more to come, promises Johan van den Berg, Sawea’s chief executive. “Wind energy is still a relatively new industry in South Africa and what we have achieved in such a short time is a sure indication of how much more we can do,” he says.

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