KATHMANDU, JUNE 22
Development is not possible without energy. This is why the demand for energy is increasing rapidly in every country, including Nepal.
In order to meet the growing demand for energy, alternative energy sources can be used, of which wind energy can play a significant role. Besides being renewable and everlasting, wind is the most sustainable and the cheapest power source after solar.
It is nearly 35 percent less expensive than conventional fuels, and advancement in technologies is pushing toward a better renewable future.
A propeller-driven turbine can convert the wind energy into electricity at an efficiency ranging from 60 to 80 percent, with endeavours to make it even more efficient.
Although wind energy has the advantage of not introducing waste into the biosphere, it is not as predictable as the sun. It is possible to extract such energy only from a power plant with a reasonably steady output. But the situation can be managed by a storage system designed to have the energy available at the time of need. But new technology has not come up with a practical storage medium, so electric storage batteries are out of the question.
The use of wind on land has been found to be more limited than at sea. Until now, wind power has been used only where other sources of power are not available or are highly expensive. In isolated windy localities, where any alternative would be more expensive, windmills can be used to generate electric power and the surplus can be stored in batteries, which, of course, are very expensive.
In windy areas, windmills can be widely used in works that do not require the mills to turn constantly. Grinding grains and draining polders are two examples of such mills.
In recent times, the energy crisis has become a global issue.
However, there is tremendous scope for planning energy utilisation in this world. In least developed countries like ours, people do not have power resources necessary for their transition. In order to provide the people of the world with a quality of life as high as man's ingenuity can develop, the essential role of energy must be accepted.
Nepal has high potential for harnessing wind energy. Apart from the Tarai region, Mustang, Khumbu and Palpa have been found to have relative high potential for wind energy. However, compiling accurate data about wind speed should be the first step in setting up a suitable windmill.
In recent times, climate change is spinning at an alarming rate due to the maximum use of fossil fuels, and fighting it is a great challenge. The use of wind energy can reduce this challenge to some extent.
A version of this article appears in the print on June 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.