IEA assisting in Africa wind power mapping project

Developing a resource map and establishing a wind atlas for Africa, is key for the development of the renewable energy sector and providing access to electricity for millions across the continent, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has said.

The International Energy Agency was assisting in mapping out a resource map for the continent, particularly for the Southern African Development Community region.

Peters stressed that Africa had to overcome the constraint of a lack of infrastructure, which inhibited trade, including that for energy.

“We must draw lessons from the continent’s power pools and strengthen our ability to overcome challenges and catalyse the development and growth of not only the wind energy sector, but all key energy sources in the renewable energy space,” she said.

Peters together with Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard launched the South African wind energy awareness campaign, ‘Powered by Wind’, on Thursday, making it the country’s first campaign focused on creating awareness around wind energy.

Launched on the sidelines of the COP 17 global climate talks in Durban, the campaign, which starts in early 2012, was conceptualised and initiated following an agreement between Peters and Danish Ambassador to South Africa Dan Frederiksen at the Second Annual Wind Seminar, held in September 2010.

The campaign will be rolled out in phases and focuses on targeted groups comprising various segments of South African society including civil servants; business; local communities in the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape; primary school children (grades 4 to 6) in the three provinces and nongovernmental organisations.

The campaign represented a partnership and a vehicle that could adequately and effectively communicate the importance of wind energy, Frederiksen said.