As Africa's renewable energy market continues on the path of rapid growth, what can we expect for the future of wind power? Last year, South Africa's National Energy Regulator (NERSA) introduced the feed-in-tariff designed to produce 10 TWh of electricity per year by 2013. Riaan Smit, Eskom's Chief Engineer, Network Planning, spoke to us about the effect this has had on the renewable energy market:
"Taking into account that at one stage South Africa was the cheapest producer of electricity in the world...this is also the "worst" market toenter with more expensive renewable energy. The renewable energy feed-in-tariff is vital to enable the development of the wind industry.
In a recent survey conducted by the International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC), 38.46% of respondents chose South Africa as the country leading the way in wind power development in Africa, whilst 23.08% of respondents chose Egypt.
Egypt has impressive plans for the future, launching its first privately owned wind farm in 2013 to be situated in the Gulf of Suez, the nation also aims to produce a fifth of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020. "The Gulf of Suez is an excellent area for wind farms. Several projects are underway to create more wind parks there, which could have capacity of around 2,000 MW" said Mohab Hallouda, a Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank.
Leaders in the industry from both South Africa and Egypt will be speaking at IQPC's Wind Power Development and Implementation conference, taking place in Cairo, Egypt from 12-15 December 2010. "Attending the event is important for investors and bankers to learn how they can attract funds; important for researchers for the high calibre of specialised speakers; important for governmental decision makers and officers as they will be aware of all facilities and initiative policies offered in different countries." Dr. Hisham El Agamawy, Energy Advisor, Ministry of State for Environment Affairs
Leading organisations sponsoring the event include gold sponsor Siemens and associate sponsors Vestas, GL Garrad Hassan, Goldwind, SGS, Gamesa.