The generation of a wind atlas for South Africa is a joint undertaking between the CSIR, SAWS, CSAG and international collaborators at the Danish Technical University. The project has been made possible by the Royal Danish Embassy, the United Nations Development Programme, the South African Wind Energy Programme and the South African National Energy Development Institute.

The projects is divided into a number of work packages which include an observations campaign, high resolution as well as microscale modeling, extreme wind climate assessment, wind climate assessment techniques as well as data dissemination. The cumulative objective of these efforts is to generate a very high resolution wind atlas for South Africa to provide stakeholders with knowledge allowing them to make informed decisions. CSAG is involved in the mesoscale modelling component where the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model has been used to produce the first ever verified numerical wind atlas in the world. WASA phase 1 has produced the atlas for the western and southern parts of South Africa, WASA Phase 2 has produced the same for the eastern and central parts of the country.

WASA Phase 3 covered the whole of South Africa and provides 30 years worth of data at a 3.3km grid resolution across the whole country from 1990-2019 from the mesoscale modelling and the microscale modelling provides data at a resolution of ~100m.

Data available for free download

  1. All modelled data is publicly available through CSAG. The lib files and a full time series of the mesoscale data, consisting of 2-meter temperature, wind speed and direction at 20, 60, 100 and 120m, at 30 minute intervals at each grid cell for the full 30 year period is available here.
  2. All mast data as well as materials developed during WASA3 are available for download here.
  3. Additionally, Google Earth kmz files for Wind speed and Power Density are available here and here.

WASA3 Reports

The full reports from Phase 3 are mirrored at CSAG for ease of access.

  1. Mesoscale and Microscale Modeling Report (includes WRF sensitivity testing experiments)
  2. Station and site descriptions
  3. Measurement Report 
  4. Observational Wind Atlas
  5. Extreme Atlas guide
  6. High resolution wind resource maps
  7. Best Practice Guide

Time Frames: 2017 – 2021

Funders: UNDP

Partners: South African Weather Services (SAWS), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Technical University of Danish (DTU) Wind Energy and SANEDI.

For further details: See the WASA website or contact Dr Chris Lennard