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Wind-powered electricity generation in Baluchistan

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    Wind-powered electricity generation in Baluchistan

    I was wondering if any previous Pakistani governments have ever considered using wind-powered turbines to generate electricity, especially in the vast area of Baluchistan?

    Baluchistan would be ideally suited for such an initiative due to its large area which is pretty much barren with very little agriculture, if any.

    Wind speed is also very high and fairly constant across Baluchistan.

    A network of wind turbines across Baluchistan would be a good way to generate cheap renewable energy, except that the output would be greater than most wind electricity generation installations( e.g. in California) simply due to the vast area of Baluchistan.

    Such a solution would be a great alternative to current petroleum-powered electricity generation plants which are selling electricity to WAPDA at horrendous prices.

    Would anybody with relevant knowledge like to input their suggestions/comments?

    What do you say we all send a joint letter to the Chief Executive and WAPDA?

    For more information, check out:
    http://www.uwig.org/
    http://www.bitterrootsolar.com/frames/frames_first.htm

    #2
    Wind Power issues:
    http://www.powergenrenewables.com/windfarmissues.htm

    Wind Power
    In recent years there has been increasing concern about pollution and the depletion of global resources. In response to these issues the government has committed itself to a number of targets to reduce polluting emissions. A fundamental part of this commitment is a drive to increase the amount of wind energy in the UK, both onshore and offshore.

    Wind is a clean energy source that has been used throughout history for purposes such as water pumping and flour grinding – some mills can still be seen in parts of the UK. And because wind energy is a renewable resource, it will never run - the ‘fuel’ is constantly replenished by nature.

    Wind farms contribute no gaseous or liquid emissions to the environment and therefore help reduce the environmental impact of producing electricity. Every kilowatt of power that is generated by a wind farm displaces one produced from a conventional power source such as a coal-fired power station.

    Conventional power stations burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, which produce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is a major contributor to global warming and nitrous oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxides (SO2) which are linked to acid rain.


    Increasing Efficiency
    Although modern wind turbines have advanced dramatically in terms of the technology used, they still use the same principle of harnessing the energy in the wind and converting it into mechanical power by movement of the turbine ‘blades’. This power is turned into electricity within the turbine and is then fed into the local electricity network.

    Commercial machines have increased in size over the past decade from 200 kW to 3000 kW. The relatively small increase in height and blade length of these machines has enabled much greater energy yield. This has meant that the number of turbines needed to produce a given amount of energy on a typical wind farm has been reduced by at least a factor of five.

    It has been estimated that the energy used to manufacture a wind turbine can be recouped within four to five months of turbine operation. As well as the benefit of clean generation, the turbines take up very little space so that the existing land use can continue in conjunction with wind farm operation – it is quite normal for fields occupied by turbines to continue use as agricultural or grazing land.

    At the end of their operating life (normally 20 years) the turbines can be decommissioned and removed with little disturbance to their surroundings.


    Landscape

    Turbines are, by their very nature, visible in the landscape. This can be a sensitive issue in the development of wind farms as they are often sited on high ground or in exposed locations in order to obtain good wind speeds.

    To reduce the impact of the turbines, several mitigating measures are employed. Firstly, an independent study of the visual characteristics of the site is carried out as part of the environmental assessment. Secondly, the local planning authority choose a paint colour for the turbines – usually off white. The aim is to blend the turbines in with the general colour of the sky and to minimise any reflection of sun light.

    The design of the turbine layout is also optimised, in an effort to avoid any ridges or hilltops and mitigate the impact of the wind farm on the landscape. Any other wind farms in the area are included in this study to ensure that they do not combine to create an unacceptable cumulative effect.

    Photomontages of the proposed wind farm in its surroundings are included in the wind farm environmental assessments.


    TV and Radio Signals

    If sited in a signal path, wind turbines can scatter TV, radio and microwave signals and can reduce the quality of the signal reaching receivers. Avoiding these paths at the planning stage can easily prevent this. If necessary an additional transponder, to redirect or boost the signal to areas that would otherwise suffer signal quality degradation, can be installed. Another option is to install digital televisions, which does not suffer from the same effects.


    Ecology

    Both animal and plant wildlife are surveyed in the early planning stages to ensure that any sensitive habitats are avoided. For this reason national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of special scientific interest tend not to be considered as potential development sites. The land around the turbines is reinstated after construction thus keeping the disturbance as minimal as possible. Monitoring studies have shown that wildlife is able to coexist quite happily with wind farms.


    Noise

    Some of the early wind turbine designs suffered from tonal noise – mechanical noise from the power train components such as the gearbox and bearings, which was exacerbated by inadequate noise insulation inside the turbine. Modifications and more sophisticated design methods now ensure that modern machines are extremely quiet.

    Potential disturbance is further minimised by carrying out thorough noise studies in the early stages of scheme development and by following guidelines on minimum separation distances between the turbines and any residences.


    Comment


      #3
      Excellent post Alizadah, I think coastal regions of Sind and Baluchistan are ideal places for generating elctricity through wind-driven turbines. Pakistan is facing acute shortage of water due to persistant drought conditions. Water level has dropped to its lowest levels in all the major reservoirs. Pakistan needs to formulate a policy geared towards buliding more dams and erecting wind-powered turbines. Any major dam would require huge inevestment and a time period of at least three to five years to build. This path addresses needs on long term basis. In order to sustain its drive towards industrialization and meet energy demands on short term basis, avenues must be explored which are cheaper than thermal sources and environmentaly friendly. Wind and solar power are perhaps the only sources which come to mind.

      The capacity at the present moment is roughly around 9,600 Mega-Watts/perday, and the demand will double by the end of this decade. At least sixty percent is generated by means of thermal power plants. Pakistan needs an investment of over $30 Billion over the next twenty five years if the newly announced power policy is to be implemented. I think Government can stimulate foreign investment by commencing feasibility study on wind-power.



      [This message has been edited by outlaw (edited March 20, 2001).]

      Comment


        #4
        Actually, the inland regions of Baluchistan are also very windy due to their topography.

        Areas adjacent to mountain passes usually see very high wind speeds, and there are lots of such inland areas in Baluchistan.
        (more than 50% of the whole area I think.)

        Originally posted by outlaw:
        I think coastal regions of Sind and Baluchistan are ideal places for generating elctricity through wind-driven turbines
        [This message has been edited by alizadeh2000 (edited March 21, 2001).]

        Comment

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