Harnessing the Wind
A wind turbine to generate electricity is wonderfully a new concept for a country hit hard by load shedding and Amrit Singh Thapa and four of his co – partners have made us proud by developing the three wooden blade HAWT machine, a first of its kind in Nepal. This machine can generate up to 800W of electricity. It can be installed anywhere without hassle and the best part is that it is inexpensive and is within reach of the layman too. These innovative and aspiring lads are all researcher of Energy Study Centre, Kathmandu Engineering College and are keen to conserve the environment and save the country from further degradation.
The first wind turbine ever made was in the Northern European Countries in the 1180’s and many still exist in the Netherlands. In the case of Nepal, the first significant extraction of wind energy was made by Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in 1989 in Kagbeni of Mustang District. Unfortunately, this demonstration project of 20kW capacity was a failure owing to poor design and structural failure. The high installation cost thus did not justify further development.
At present Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has set up two wind turbine generators in Pyuthan district and each generates 400 watts of electricity. Two more units are under construction at the same place. Practical Action Nepal has installed more than 13 small wind power plants (100W & 200W) in 7 different locations of Nepal (sample model by Peru & Srilanka). According to AEPC there are various hilly regions including Kathmandu, Makwanpur, Kagbeni, Ramechhap, Thini, Palpa, Mustang, Manang, Pyuthan, Phakhel, Okhaldhunga, Myagdi, Kaski & Nagarkot which could be possible sites for generating wind energy in Nepal. “According to a recent study, 3,000 MW of wind energy can be generated in Nepal,” says
While around 126,334 GWH of power has been generated through wind energy technology in the world, 94,000 MW of electricity has been generated through wind power. Of this, 22,000 MW wind power has been generated by Germany alone, while India has produced 8,000 MW wind energy. Similarly, 19 percent of total electricity supplied in Denmark is generated from wind power while wind energy is still one of the least harnessed energy sources in Nepal.
The Government of Nepal has targeted to generate 20MW power through wind energy within this year. According to the outgoing Minister for Environment Science and Technology (MoST) Ganesh Sah, the government has allocated some money to begin work in this regard. The former Finance Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, in this year’s budget, had proposed to mark the current fiscal year as the ‘Year of Alternative Energy’. “Twenty megawatt of electricity will be generated through wind energy around Kathmandu valley through public-private-partnership model,” reveals the budget. However, the Renewable Energy Database for Nepal reads that there is no strong general description on wind mapping and the technology of installation of wind turbine units range very low. Until and unless there is enough data on wind velocity, it is difficult to estimate the wind energy potential. This reveals that today, in such a phase of crisis, implementation is the only possible measure to produce possible estimates.
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