• Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
  • Last Update : 12:39 am

Setting up wind turbine power plants a profitable venture

  • Published at 11:25 pm July 12th, 2018
Kutubdia wind turbines, Bangladesh's first wind power generation project
Kutubdia wind turbines, Bangladesh's first wind power generation project Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The only wind turbine power plants currently in operation - at Kutubdia and Feni - have a combined generating capacity of just 2 megawatts (MW)

Bangladesh can ease its energy crisis through renewable sources after an external report recorded wind speeds high enough to power turbines in nine areas of the country. 

The only wind turbine power plants currently in operation - at Kutubdia and Feni - have a combined generating capacity of just 2 megawatts (MW), reports Bangla Tribune.

By comparison, neighbouring India has set a target of generating 32,000MW from wind power.

However, a new analysis of wind patterns at nine locations across Bangladesh by American National Renewable Energy Laboratory (ANREL) has recorded speeds high enough to power turbines.  

“The average wind speed required for installing a wind turbine power plant is 5-6 metres per second,” ANREL Project Director Mark Jacobson said. 

“We found this wind speed is available in nine places of Bangladesh (therefore) it will be financially profitable to generate electricity by using the wind speed.”

The Power Development Board (PDB) said the information of wind speed was gathered from nine places through the Sound Detection and Ranging (SODAR) method, after which ANREL began modeling work.

Before the end of this month, PDB will publish a wind mapping report of the nine areas and organize a seminar to discuss its findings.

“Usually it is possible to generate wind electricity if wind speed is 2.3 to 2.5 metres per second, but it is costly,” Power Cell Director (sustainable energy) Abdur Rouf Mia said. 

“But if the wind speed is 5-6 metres per second then it will financially profitable.”

From March to October, there is sufficient wind to generate electricity in the southern region of Bangladesh, while from November to February the conditions are conducive in the northern region.

Since the power crisis becomes even more severe in the summer months, the Power Development Board (PDB) thinks it will be beneficial to generate electricity by using wind energy during this period.  

Although the typical cost of installing a wind turbine power plant is around Tk15-16 crore, the PDB is already examining the proposals of many companies who have expressed an interest in constructing the plants. 

Prof Saiful Haque of Institute of Energy at Dhaka University said it was the right time for Bangladesh to increase its use of renewable energy. 

“The fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) will be finished some day, so people will have to generate electricity with renewable fuel,” he said.

“Many modern technologies have been launched. It will be a great mistake not to make use of the opportunities.”