Blowing in the wind
Mohammad Mizanur Rahman

Improving infrastructure and extending cost effective technology oriented towards wind turbine components and better utilization of grid connections and distributions should be a way to the future

  • A villager walks near a windmill generator along the waterfront of the East China Sea on the outskirts of Shanghai 
    Photo- AFP

Wind power is clean, safe, without carbon emissions, and is the most attractive renewable solution for improving supply trends.

The viability of wind power lies at the plentifulness of wind, cost effectiveness, long-term usage, ease of deployment and for the significant role it plays in reducing Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Wind turbines generate power without causing air pollution, and it has no radioactive waste. Wind turbines require a lot of land, but only about 5% of that land is used for the turbine foundations like roads, electrical sub-stations, windmills and accessories. The remaining 95% of the land is available for other uses like farming and livestock grazing.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) report urges world leaders to take actions on the pressing energy and climate issues before 2017. If nothing is done, it will be too late to prevent the global temperature level from increasing more than 2 degree Celsius. Another report by the World Bank Group said that Asian countries have posted a sevenfold increase in economic growth over the past 25 years while energy consumption has tripled. Even then, there is no access to electricity for about 1.5billion people.

Global Wind Energy Council reported that China’s wind power capacity, at 62,122 MW by the end of 2011, has more than doubled in the last 10 years. India has increased it’s capacity to 15,084MW in the same period as well. Also participated by Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea among others, Asia is gradually becoming the largest market for wind power generation.

In Denmark, there are close to 5200 wind turbines with a capacity of almost 3100 MW. On a day with wind speeds of up to 10 meters per second, they can meet the electricity requirements of all Danish households during peak periods. Today, this country supplies 20% of its electricity from wind power sources.

The Bangladesh government should also seek to promote renewable energy including wind power access for sustainable economic development, as well as supporting work for achieving the second phase of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Wind can generate power if it blows at more that 2 metres per second. The average speed of wind in Bangladesh is 2-6 metres per second. What the sector needs now is funding from the private and the public sector.

According to the renewable energy policy of Bangladesh, enacted in 2008, 5% of total domestic power should come from renewable sources by 2015 and the proportion should rise to 10% by 2020.

In the context of renewable energy, the portion of wind-power is very low. Until now, the total amount of the wind power is only 2MW, through turbines installed in Feni and Kutubdia.

According to the sixth five-year plan (2011-2015) on renewable energy, the government has taken initiative to establish a wind-turbine-run power plant of 100MW (off-shore) at Anowara, Chittagong.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government has formulated Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda) and passed a bill on Sreda in the parliament on November 28, 2012.

To further facilitate wind power generation, the private sector needs to be offered generous incentives to stimulate interest in renewable energy productions.

Further collaborations with China, India and other Asian countries are advisable.

Compared to the expensive quick rental solutions, this wind based power generation is a much better idea that can turn us into net energy exporters.

Setting up and strengthening a research and development team for wind power generation, which will involve predicting and re-evaluating wind speeds in Bangladesh should also follow.

Improving infrastructure and extending cost effective technology oriented towards wind turbine components and better utilisation of grid connections and distributions should be a way to the future.

Launched immediately, energy auditing systems should include renewable energy units under the supervision of the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources of Bangladesh.

In more than 75 countries worldwide, wind farms are in operation. Bangladesh too should celebrate the global wind day, on June 15, starting from next year, and build awareness toward clean energy.

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