SA wind farm atlas launched

By Bizclik Editor

South Africa has taken another step towards renewable energy - by launching its first verified wind atlas to identify potential spots for wind farms.

The atlas, with verified wind data for the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape was released by the energy department today (Tuesday).

When used with commercial wind resource software, the data, collected over a year-long period using 10 masts, could be used to determine the viability of a wind farm.

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“This is an opportunity for them to invest in our green economy," said Deputy Energy Minister Barbara Thompson.

The wind atlas, funded by the UN Development Programme and the Danish embassy, cost R22 million. It is part of South Africa’s plan for renewable energy to make up 42 percent of all new power projects to decrease the country’s reliance on coal-powered energy which accounts for 90 percent.

"If we can successfully exploit the wind energy potential these provinces offer, we can provide impoverished communities in these provinces the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty," Thompson added.

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