Spanish Corporation GRI Renewable Industries announced that R300 million will be spent on creating a wind turbine production facility in Atlantis, Cape Town.
South Africa has been experiencing problems with Eskom’s electricity supply in 2014, but as a result alternative methods of electricity generation and supply have emerged and are being implemented around the Cape. Following in the footsteps of Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape, where a wind farm began operations in mid-2014; the Cape Town area is also harnessing wind power. The Cape is one of the windiest regions in the world and both local and international investors are beginning to realise this with increased investments in renewable energy, particularly wind turbines, in the area.
South Africa’s energy demands are projected to increase due to steady economic growth and it is expected that the country’s energy requirements will double by 2030. The government is encouraging research into renewable energies and their implementation by providing tax incentives and other forms of government aid to help businesses in the sector to grow and help meet the increasing demand. The government has also outlined their plan for renewable energies in the Integrated Resource Plan, in which it is highlighted that sustainable energy is to be prioritised with a plan that 42% of the country’s electricity is to be supplied by renewable sources in 20 years time.
The Green Technology Industrial Park in Atlantis will span 12,000 square metres and is situated 40km from Cape Town. GRI Renewable Industries has plans for the factory to reach full production in 18 months, creating 200 permanent jobs in the area and contributing to the Western Cape’s economic growth. Local and international experts will be hired to train the new workforce, uplifting the level of skills in the local community and making it simpler to drive similar future projects.
This is the first international investment that the City of Cape Town has attracted in the field of renewable energy through its pilot Investment Incentive Scheme in Atlantis. The project proves that the local government is prioritising sustainable energy generation and rather than having to prevent a future energy crisis, South Africa is planning ahead in order to build a more sustainable future for its residents.