The cornerstone of any modern economy remains access to power. This is why, and rightly so, concerns have remained about how Africa can bridge its energy deficit gap and gain full electrification. Modern onshore wind turbines have become a common sight in many countries today. Due to technological advancements, the wind sector has the potential to provide power to tens of millions of households and jobs for millions of workers globally.

Unfortunately, on the African continent, wind turbines are not as common. Industry bodies such as the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) indicated that several bottlenecks were hindering Africa’s wind industry’s growth. These bottlenecks included the overconsumption of fossil fuels, regulatory costs, and subsidies (Alemzero, Acheampong and Huaping, 2021). As a result, Africa today only accounts for up to one percent of global installed wind capacity, despite the continent’s energy needs and wind energy’s potential to support sustained growth in the region (Munyengeter and Whittaker, 2021).

To deal with this energy crisis, South Africa has adopted enabling policies to increase its share of renewable energy in its national grid mix. Wind remains one of the feasible resources to achieve a decarbonised South African grid. The overall system demand in 2022 was similar to that in 2021, according to the CSIR (2023), and coal accounted for 80% of the total system load. In 2022, the share of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar PV, and CSP, in the total installed capacity climbed to 6.2 GW, providing 7.3 percent of the total energy mix. Despite these low numbers, South Africa is becoming an established market for wind power installations filled with potential.

The good news is that the wind industry has started to grow, especially now that the South African government has recently amended Section 3 of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 to allow private investors to build their own power plants without needing a licence, allowing investments in larger utility-scale plants that will benefit from economies of scale. This is a massive step in the right direction for the South African energy market’s liberalisation (Richards and Stolp, 2023).

This change is expected to remove the current bottleneck at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa  (Burkhardt and Mbatha, 2021). In addition, Reuters (2022) reported that Seriti Resources, a South African coal producer, planned to invest about $730 million in building a 450-megawatt wind farm in Mpumalanga to kickstart its entry into the renewable industry following its acquisition of Windlab Africa.

One job arising from wind energy’s recent developments is that of a wind turbine repair technician. This is because each wind turbine needed to achieve this clean electrification is a complex machine that requires specialised skills to maintain and repair. As the wind industry continues to grow, the demand for skilled technicians, amongst them Rotor Blade Technicians who can inspect and maintain wind turbine blades, will continue to increase, which presents an excellent opportunity for the locals to secure jobs in the energy sector.

Altitec is the pioneer and leading provider of GWO blade repair training in South Africa and, since 2021, has trained more than 81 persons, intending to train over 500 wind turbine technicians by 20230. Altitec Academy graduates in South Africa and globally come from different lines of work because a background in the wind industry is not essential. All you need is a passion for making a difference and advancing renewable energy. If that is you, in that case, you can become a rotor blade technician and join the stride to increase Africa’s renewable energy share.

If you want more information about working in the wind energy sector, visit Altitec for more information and hands-on GWO blade repair training to help you land a job in the growing wind industry,

The Altitec Team