IMPORTANCE OF WIND POWER

The world's energy consumption is expected to double from 2002 to 2030. Yet, our current consumption far exceeds the fossil fuels sourced to date. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that we will be dependent on energy from sustainable sources such as bio-fuels, the sun and hydrogen soon. The most promising of all renewable energies - the power of the wind.

Due to the increases in fossil fuel prices, the global renewable energy market has grown exponentially, especially in wind power generation. (TABLE I shows the growth of wind energy since 1996). Out of an installed capacity of 159,213 MW by the end of 2009, an additional 38,312 MW has been installed .This is a 31.7% growth, which makes wind Wind power Power the fastest growing power generation mechanism in the world.



Table I: Global Wind Energy Industry growth since 1996

  

   GLOBAL WIND POWER

Asian region countries like China and India have secured the 2nd and 5th place among the top ten wind-power installed capacities in the world owning 26,010 MW and 10,945 MW respectively.  This contributes 23% of the global installed w/p capacity. (See Table II which shows the global scenario of installed capacity in wind energy industry by end 2009).


Table II: Top 10 Wind Energy Installed Capacity by end 2009

  

   WIND RESOURCES IN SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s wind climate is primarily determined by the two Asian Monsoons the South West (SW) and North East (NE) Monsoons. The SW Monsoon lasts from May till early October while the NE Monsoon last from December to February. The SW is the stronger of the two Monsoons and is felt along the entire West Coastof Sri Lanka as well as in interior areas and some mountainous regions. While winds over mountainous regions are highly site specific, turbulent and confined to the SW monsoon, winds over flat landscapes in the south-eastern and north-western coastal belt are more consistent and occur during both monsoons.

Wind studies were initially carried out in 2000/2002 by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) at several locations in the country by installing wind masts.Thereafter, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of USA conducted a full study for Sri Lanka and the Maldives using satellite mapping.According to this study, the potential for wind power in Sri Lanka is 20,740 MW's. Thereafter, with the formation of The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) in 2007,to develop non conventional renewable energy, they too started installing wind masts at several location of the country .
  

   THE WIND POWER INDUSTRY IN SRI LANKA

The first pilot wind power plant of 3MW was set up in 1999 by the CEB in Hambantota. This project was not a success. Table III highlights the expected generation capacity additions to our national grid in next 5 years, out of which 60% of the capacity additions will be thermal. In this period, the contribution to the national grid from wind energy would be less than 10%.
Table III: Existing and Expected capacities of the national Grid

With the expectation of promoting electricity generation based on non conventional renewable energy, the Government of Sri Lanka introduced an Energy Policy to achieve a 10% target of power generation through non conventional renewable energy by year 2015.  Based on this policy CEB issued licenses to private sector investors to develop Wind Power Plants. Wind regime along the Puttalam region conforms to the general monsoon wind climate felt in most parts in Sri Lanka as shown in Table IV. According to on site data from the wind measurements done by Sustainable Energy Authority annual wind speed, as measured in Mullipurama, was 6.9 m/s at an elevation of 50 m.

Table IV: Monthly wind speed pattern in Puttalam Region.
Another appreciable feature is the directional and diurnal persistence of winds in this region. As could be seen    in Table V during 55% of the time winds blow from the 180o – 270o direction sector (SW winds), while NE winds fall with the 0o – 90o sector for 30% of the time. During both monsoons winds remain steady throughout the day as shown in Table VI. Based on the above characteristics of the local wind regime, it could be concluded that the coast of Kalpitiya peninsula, and also the region south and north of it, exhibit favorable conditions for harnessing wind energy for large-scale electricity generation.

Based on the above characteristics of the local wind regime, it could be concluded that the coast of Kalpitiya peninsula, and also the region south and north of it, exhibit favorable conditions for harnessing wind energy for large-scale electricity generation.


Table V: Directional distribution of winds during the year


Table VI: Diurnal wind speed pattern in during the day.


Table VII: Wind Rose Graph


Table VII:Frequency Distribution Graph