Department of Energy (DoE) acting director-general Zizamele Mbambo has launched the Wind Atlas for South Africa (Wasa) High Resolution Wind Resource Map, which has expanded its coverage to three-quarters of the country.
Addressing delegates at a seminar this week, Mbambo emphasised the importance of accurately determining the availability of wind resources.
“As we continue on our ambitious renewable energy path, wind energy remains an integral part of this goal. However, it would be difficult to plan thoroughly for the increased uptake of wind energy if there is not certainty around the resource availability.”
The launch of the resource map coincided with the ten-year anniversary of the Wasa project, undertaken by the South African Wind Energy Project, with the DoE as implementing partner.
The Wasa resource map shows detailed information of the surface wind across South Africa, including mean surface wind speed, assisting planners, wind farm developers and other interested parties to identify areas for wind exploration.
It also aids government with wind development zones that support the country’s energy investment drive.
Wasa 1 encompassed the Western Cape, and parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape and was completed in 2014; it included nine wind measurement stations.
Wasa 2 focused on KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and remaining areas of the Eastern Cape and was completed in 2018; it included five measurement stations.
Subsequently, four additional wind measurement stations were erected in the Northern Cape in the beginning of September 2018 for Wasa 3. An update to include this data is expected to be completed by 2020.
This brings the total number of Wasa wind measurement stations in operation to 18 spread across five provinces, which cover an estimated 75% of South Africa’s land cover.
Effectively, Wasa 1, 2 and 3 constitute the building blocks of the wind atlas that covers the whole of the country.
Source: Engineering News