Wind power grabs attention

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A strong wind blew through Cape Town, South Africa, this week. This is not only the weather we’re talking about here; it is the issue of wind power.
As the world looks to alternative energy resources, it was wind that got all the attention at the Wind Power Conference and Renewable Energy Exhibition held in the “Mother City”. The conference and exhibition looks specifically at the present and future use of such resources in Africa
Standard Bank Group (SBG), which has sustainable business as a core to its business, was there.
The appetite of local and international independent power producers to play a part in South Africa’s multibillion-rand renewable energy sector remains strong. This is despite delays in the many planned projects.
Government was expected to commence the process of requesting proposals for about US$4.5-billion worth of renewable energy projects to independent power producers in April 2011. The process was stopped following the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s decision to hold public hearings on revised renewable energy tariffs.
At Standard Bank Group, we suspect that hundreds of local and international independent power producers are still preparing their bids. It is something like a “gold rush” for independent power producers.
Adding these producers into the local renewable energy sector will boost state-owned utility Eskom’s supply capacity by adding as much as 5 000-megawatts, more than 10% of new power by the year 2020.
This would be a significant boost to South Africa’s total current power generating capability of about 40 000-megawatts, and further diversify energy streams away from carbon emitting sources.
The bidding process expected to open towards the end of May 2011 when a host of documents are expected to be released.
For more on the Wind Power Conference and Renewable Energy Exhibition see www.afriwea.org/
Standard Bank Group’s sustainability report for 2010 is available onwww.standardbank.com/sustainability.

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