At this years Windaba in Cape Town, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) launched a new working group. Under the name Communities for Wind, the group is aiming to provide support to the industry to enable the best possible social and economic outcomes for communities. The development of good practice when it comes to working with communities, monitoring of the impacts and the support of positive relationships is the focus of the work content for the coming months.
Relationships with local residents as well as developmental benefits to local areas around wind projects are of great importance to the renewable energy industry and have been incorporated in the economic development requirements of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Process (RE IPPPP). SAWEA is the first industry association in South Africa to institutionalise a response to this challenge. The group includes private sector, academia and civil society stakeholders.
More information about SAWEA under http://www.sawea.org.za/ and more information on the issue of community development in the RE IPPPP in our report ‘Making Communities Count’.