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Richard Ganter

South Africa: Wind Energy Barriers

ISBN: 978-3-8366-9320-2

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Produktart: Buch
Verlag: Diplomica Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: 04.2011
AuflagenNr.: 1
Seiten: 96
Abb.: 32
Sprache: Englisch
Einband: Paperback


The rapid adoption of wind energy in the renewable energy mix can be seen in many industrialized nations in the past decade, in particular the need to agreed greenhouse gas reduction and stable energy supply are seen as a sound vision for a sustainable energy policy’. In an emerging market such as South Africa there are abundant renewable resources including wind energy, however there is low adoption observed to date. This study investigates barriers to entry in the South African wind energy sector and what the priorities are to remove such barriers for successful deployment of wind technology. Therefore, it was required to examine successful deployment of wind energy in the European Union and how such barriers were removed this was set in the current status of the renewable energy sector and existing barriers in South Africa. It was necessary to gain insight of the inter-related issues on opening a traditional fossil fuel based energy market to a transitional implementation of renewable energy provisioning, considering the current utility monopoly based energy landscape in South Africa.


Text Sample: Chapter 3.15, Smart Grid and Decentralised Electricity: The further liberalisation of the energy markets in Europe has made decentralised energy (DE) more feasible as seen in the RE sector in Germany. A combination of RE sources and more cost effective control can balance out short-term fluctuations. Providing reliable electricity from 100 percent RE sources is shown in the combined power plant (CPP) projects linking 36 wind, solar biomass and hydropower installations throughout Germany. This follows, the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy claims that potential for DE in realizing electrification objectives is great anda far cheaper method of supplying power to local areas than grid extension including environmental benefits. Denmark for example benefits from a fifty percent shift to DE such as in case of wind turbines placed along transmission corridors, highways or train tracks. DE could therefore be of importance in the context of this investigation on support strategies in rural community electrification programmes in South Africa and improving energy efficiency. A wide range of technologies are available from the RE sector to benefit local ownership. However, barriers remain in the EU where it is recognised that inadequate progress has been made on lighter procedures for small projects implementation at local ownership level. The introduction of digital technology could present a further opportunity in form of the smart grid which allows more-efficient use of existing power capacity and of transmission and distribution, in addition to better handling of fluctuations in energy from wind and sun. Renewable Energyand Socio Economic Effects: The adoption by the European Council of the Renewable Energy Directive for 2020 sets ambitious targets for each Member State to achieve a twenty percent share of RE. In a study the EU investigated the macro- economic gross effects and net effects of RE policies in Europe, more specifically the findings suggest that the RE sector is already a very important one in terms of employment and value add. ‘An estimated 2.8 million jobs by 2020 and 3.4 by 2030 will be created’.As a result of the RE support policies, the positive investment effect is currently based on installations in Europe and exports globally. However, it is recognized that inherent uncertainties about the future support of RE sources exist. In this context in the UK, the employment opportunities had been hitherto significantly underestimated. It is claimed an additional ‘130,000 jobs in the wind sectorby 2020 are a possibility’. Contrary to the report which claims that from a current 5000 jobs in the wind, wave and tidal energy sector, an increase to as many as 60,000 employees by 2020. However, the report suggests ‘ that the UK does not yet have a coherent approach to training’ and step changes are required to achieve this goal. Whilst in Germany, the wind energy industry now employs close to 100,000 people. Public Acceptance and Property: In terms of property or land prices near wind farms, there appears to be conflicting and subjective evidence. A Canadian study noted that buying decisions are effected by different criteria’s near wind farms such as some people finding it interesting and others do not like the look. (Wind farms and Land Values 2003 p.1) In further studies in the UK 60 percent of respondents in a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors survey experienced negative impact on house prices. However, the EWEA observes the social acceptance of wind farms depends on the way they are developed and managed. This also means authorities learn from past experience and find mechanisms to maintain and expand public engagement in wind development. Environmental Impact Assessments: The European Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) would suggest a common approach, this however is not the case and carried out ‘in different ways, in different countries and requires a more unified approach’. With specific regard to the approach in Germany, the Federal Building Code regulation is important as wind energy plants are regarded as so called ‘privileged projects’. The local authorities thereby can allocate zones for wind energy utilization, or restrict construction (BWE 2009). Therefore, EIA can facilitate in this important decision process, at the same time regulation appears to give room for development. In the UK the combination of EIA and local planning may have hindered more rapid wind energy deployment as opposed to Denmark, Germany and Spain. As in other EU countries the majority of wind farm projects in the UK an Environmental Statement (ES) is required and used as a decision tool, identifying the environmental, social and economic impacts of a development. Whilst engaging local communities is a vital process in the successful deployment of RE such as wind technology. Contrary to this, however it is recognised that a more streamlined approach may be required to drive delivery of targets through the planning process. This appears to acknowledge the large body of studies on implementing EIA,linked to existing barriers as part of the planning process in the UK wind sector. Adverse Effects of Wind Technology: Noise, Visual Impact, electromagnetic interference Broadly, some observers cite concerns such as turbine noise and aerodynamic noise, in addition to electromagnet interference and migrating birds. Whilst wind turbine noise studies observe that the siting of wind turbines must take sound levels in consideration. A large body of literature exists confirming such barriers exist to implementation. Further, visual impact is a concern that has been raised and many studies have been made in this regard for on and off shore wind that can adversely effect deployment. In the wider context of environmental impact however, it is generally acknowledged that wind energy has a key role to play in not only combating climate change but also reducing CO2 emissions from electricity generation.

Über den Autor

The author works in the area of Global consulting in Environment, Infrastructure Utilising Renewable Energies multiple sectors. He is also published author on Zimbabwe’s Heavenly Ruins investigating the building architecture and connections in ancient history.

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