On 10 – 12 November, Risø DTU and Kathmandu Power and Energy Group brought together experts in Nepal from all parts of the world to discuss materials for wind turbines in poor and isolated rural areas. The workshop concluded that it is possible to use locally available wood for the blades instead of the more expensive composite materials which are normally used.
|Nepali handmade blades for wind turbines.
Access to energy is an important prerequisite for development as well as for reducing poverty in developing countries. The energy should preferably come from sustainable energy sources which do not involve a large grid. Wind turbines are a good solution to this challenge, not least because of high potential for utilising local resources for the blades such as wood.
The development of reliable wind turbines productible in developing countries was the main subject of the three-day workshop organised by Risø DTU and Kathmandu Power and Energy Group. The workshop was sponsored by Danida funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The workshop was part of the Danish-Nepalese cooperation project “Development of wind energy technologies in Nepal on the basis of natural materials”. The NGO Practical Action Nepal is also a partner in this project which is led by Senior Scientist Leon Mishnaevsky from Risø DTU’s Materials Research Division. He was in charge of the workshop.
Materials will now have to be tested and selected
The Danida funded project on wind energy in Nepal started in 2007, and will continue 2 years from now. “In our further work we will carry out comprehensive studies of different sorts of Nepali timbers, using the advanced computational modelling and mechanical testing. This will allow us to develop recommendations for the optimal choice of timber to be used in locally-produced wind turbines. With these recommendations, our Nepali partners will produce reliable, low cost wind turbines and test them in rural areas of Nepal” says Project Leader Leon Mishnaevsky
“We hope that the project will lead to more wind turbines in the small communities and start a positive development. Access to electricity allows people to prolong their working hours per day, which should lead to the improvement of their living conditions, to provide more educational possibilities for adults and children, improve hygienic and health conditions”.
Risø Project Development of wind energy technologies in Nepal: Materials science aspects
Source: Risø, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), press release, 2008-12-03