The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) recently announced the fourth international academic wind energy conference – WindAc Africa 2021. This premier academic exchange platform offers a special programme for high potential young people from South African universities and is hoping to welcome 45 sponsored students at this year’s event.
“Wind energy research and technology development plays a pivotal role in our sector, as it leads the way for advancement and progress, which is essential if we are to meet the growing demand for clean energy supply. The conference aims to create a path towards enabling and providing an integrated approach to research in achieving a successful power transition away from fossils and towards a greater share of renewables, as outlined in the IRP 2010-2030, which frames South Africa’s power to be 90% dominated by renewables by 2050,” explained Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA.
The wind energy sector looks to the academic community to unpack and analyse investment capital, skills availability, land availability, grid access, operational excellency, and investment in local supply chain development, all of which play a role in ensuring that the industry will successfully deliver the required 14,4 GW of wind power by 2030.
The conference brings together key stakeholders including professionals, policymakers, academics, government representatives and civil society. It aims to facilitate strengthened partnerships for the on-the-ground implementation of renewable energy projects, to influence energy policy, and provide a framework to aid strategic decision-making.
“With the WindAc Africa conference we aim to create a knowledge exchange platform in which dialogues between experienced researchers, motivated students and wind industry practitioners can take place for the benefit of the wind industry, as we gear up for a decade of growth in line with the approved IRP2019,” added Ntuli.
Following a two-year break, this year’s conference themed “All things Wind Energy”, will take place over three days and is expected to attract high level delegations from the Ministry for Higher Education, Science and Technology. The WindAc Africa 2021 programme is based on papers selected through rigorous peer review and final selection by a scientific advisory panel. The selected range of papers are geared towards sharing contemporary knowledge for an integrated approach to research in achieving a successful power transition away from coal and towards a greater share of renewables.
“We could not have chosen a better year to relaunch the WindAc Africa conference; 2021 is a year of change in the wind energy sector,” concluded Ntuli.
The conference will take place at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) Conference Centre in Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa from 5 -7 October 2021.
Windac Africa Conference is the flagship industry academic conference of SAWEA. It has the vision to become the pre-eminent academic wind conference in Africa, while simultaneously becoming the pre-eminent sponsorship opportunity for excellent wind energy students from Southern African research institutions. It sets out to achieve this status by elevating knowledge of wind power supply through Africa and the world while also strengthening the cooperation between South African universities and the wind industry. Sponsors and partners of the Windac Africa Conference 2021 include: SAWEP, Danish Energy Agency, GIZ, SARETEC, Journal of Southern Africa (JESA).