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Wind Atlas for South Africa (WASA)



Wind Atlas for South Africa (WASA) , The Government of Denmark, following on the successful implementation of WASA Phase 1 (covering the Western Cape and parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces), approved a further DKK12 million for WASA Phase. WASA 2 to cover the remaining areas of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces. Five, additional to the 9 WASA 1 wind measurement masts which are operating since Sept 2010, were installed with the 1st full year of WASA 2 wind measurements expected by November 2016. Wind measurement masts online graphs are available here with the wind measured data that can be downloaded here

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Application of WASA results

Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs)

The application of WASA 1 results in government policy, regulation and related fields continue with the WASA high resolution wind resource map that was used in the 1st phase of the development of Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs). Cabinet approved the gazetting of the REDZs on 17 February 2016. The eight REDZs identified areas where wind and solar PV development will have the lowest negative impact on the environment while yielding the highest possible social and economic benefit to the country with the environmental and other authorisation processes that have been aligned and streamlined thereby stimulating renewable energy investment to these areas.

WASA time series data

For the 1st time in South Africa it was possible, through application of the WASA wind resource model and validated with physical wind measured data from WASA, to generate wind time series data that covered all of South Africa. The WASA wind resource model and wind time series data are continually being updated and refined through the extension of WASA covering more provinces with increasing wind measurement masts for validation. These wind time series data enables the investigation of the dynamical behaviour and impact of wind energy in combination, amongst other, with other renewable energy applications, such as solar PV. This integration of wind energy with other renewables have far reaching implications for the development of renewable energy in South Africa which is evident from the results of studies such as PV/Wind Aggregation study (CSIR Energy Centre, SANEDI, Eskom research collaboration):

  • • More than 80% of South Africa's land mass has enough wind resource for economic wind farms with very high annual load factors of greater than 30%;
  • • The vast size of the South African power system allows for a very strong portfolio effect. Short-term fluctuations in the aggregated wind power feed-in are significantly reduced by wide spatial distribution. Where an individual wind farm’s power output can fluctuate by +/- 90% of its installed capacity within 15 minutes, a widespread wind fleet’s 15-minutes-fluctuations are reduced to +/- 4% of installed capacity.
  • • A share of 50% wind energy in South Africa’s electricity supply does not increase the short-term (intra-hour) gradients if the wind fleet is widely distributed; no negative impact on reserve requirements
  • • Up to a 65% energy share in electricity supply from a combined wind and solar PV fleet can be achieved without any significant excess energy
  • • South Africa exhibits low seasonality in both wind and solar PV supply, which makes the integration easier, because no seasonal storage is required to balance fluctuations.
  • The WASA time series data are also being used to investigate the impact of the wide spread deployment of wind energy and its associated effects in terms of system adequacy and reserve margins in the Danish supported study: “System Adequacy and Reserve Margin with In-creasing Levels of Variable Generation”

REMAP South Africa

REmap South Africa is a project with the objective of developing pathways, characterizing potentials, cost and benefits of renewable energy technology options for South Africa to 2030 with a projection of energy demand, primary energy use, new generation capacity, cost and share of RE in the energy mix – up to 2050 and in alignment with the development of the South African Integrated Energy Plan and Integrated Resource Plan. The completed study will be a comprehensive REmap country report for South Africa under the framework of IRENA’s global REmap programme. The project is implemented by three partners, namely, the DoE, SANEDI and IRENA. The Inception meeting took place in August 2016 with May 2017 the target date for completion of the project and launch of the report.

South Africa Wind Energy Project (SAWEP) Phase 2

SANEDI is project management the South Africa Wind Energy Project (SAWEP) Phase 2 (2016 to 2020, USD3.5 million) which was approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 2015 with the Dept of Energy the Executing Entity and supported by the UNDP Country Office. SAWEP 2 builds on SAWEP Phase 1 that was implemented during 2008 to 2010. SAWEP 2 identified four components for support: Optimisation and improvement of local content targets in wind energy procurement mechanisms; Resource-mapping and wind corridor development support for policy-makers; Support for the development of small-scale wind sector; and Training and human capital development for the wind energy sector. The implementation of SAWEP 2 commence with an Inception workshop in October 2016 with the 1st results expected in 2017.