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The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) has hosted 40 international delegates of the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) Technical Committee 88 (IEC TC 88) which is responsible for the development of international standards in the field of wind energy generation systems. The Technical Committee’s main objective is to develop a set of global consensus standards, which in turn, will form the basis for adoption by the SABS and will be promulgated as a South African National Standard (SANS).

Renewables the only viable energy future for SA

The IEC standards address site suitability and resource assessment, design requirements, engineering integrity, modelling requirements, measurement techniques, test procedures, operation and maintenance. The standardisation of wind energy generation systems will include equipment such as wind turbines, onshore and offshore wind power plants and any interaction with the electrical systems to which the energy is supplied.

According to Dr Sadhvir Bissoon, an executive from the SABS and a council board member of the IEC, the South African National Committee will continue to proactively influence local and international wind energy standards in the various global standardisation forums. “The presence of the IEC TC 88 delegates in South Africa during the National Energy Month is reminder that technology can play a crucial role in helping this country and the region find new sustainable solutions to our energy challenges, especially as wind energy which is prescribed in the national Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) also forms a key part of the Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP),” he says.

“The role that domestic households and businesses can play in reducing the demand on the national electricity grid must be reemphasised. There are a number of actions that can we can take to reduce energy consumption and in most instances, through the SABS technical committees, we
have promulgated national standards for things such as light bulbs, insulation materials, solar water heating systems, gas equipment and chemical sealants. All of these are critical to the national energy conservation effort,” Bissoon adds.

“Furthermore, the SABS provides a diverse range of electrotechncial testing services, training and certification services. The new ISO 50001: Energy Management System which supports operational efficiencies in the electrotechnical sector and enhances a company’s competitiveness has generated much excitement and we see this as the new focus area.”

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