Experts suggest wind power guidelines

Friday March 15 2019

 

By Gladys Mbwiga @gladysmbwiga News@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian experts and their counterparts from various countries have come up with design guidelines for foundation systems of wind turbines, which will be followed when developing the renewable energy source.

“This collaboration will accelerate the development of wind energy in Tanzania by providing reliable and economic foundation solutions,” said Dr Ashraf Osman, an associate professor from the Durham University in the United Kingdom during a workshop on wind turbines guidelines development in Dar es Salaam.

The workshop was organised by WindAfrica, which is a $2 million research project funded by the UK Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) scheme.

He said the guidelines will provide suitable designing for foundations to sustain the loads since site investigations have shown that many areas that have been identified as suitable for wind turbines are underlain by expansive soils.

“These soils are particularly sensitive to soil moisture changes during the wet season, the soil swells, thus causing surface heave and during the dry season, shrinkage occurs” he said.

This seasonal shrink-well cycle can cause damage to buildings. The guidelines will also indicate the best option of turbines that can withstand all conditions.

Though data produced by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that wind accounts for 35 per cent of the world energy resource, the sustainable energy resource is yet to be fully exploited in the Tanzania.

Even so, the country has been reporting several projects, including one being undertaken by Windlab Developments Tanzania at Makambako in Njombe.

The Makambako Project dubbed Miombo Hewani was awarded an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (Esia) Certificate for the construction of a Wind Farm and Transmission line project last year (2018).

The farm, to be built in phases will last for 25 years and produce up to 300 megawatts with the first phase projected to produce around 100 megawatts

There is also the $300 million Singida Wind Farm, which has a potential of generating 100 megawatts though the project has stalled for nearly a decade now.

Deployment of wind energy is not only beneficial for the economy, it will also improve human health care, create employment and reduce environmental destruction

“This collaboration will accelerate the development of wind energy in Tanzania by providing reliable and economic foundation solutions,” said Dr Ashraf Osman, an associate professor at the Durham University in the United Kingdom, during the workshop

The workshop was organised by WindAfrica, which is a $2 million research project funded by the UK Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) scheme.

A researcher in electric engineering from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco), Ms Catherine Mwegoha, said the wind energy sources has not been tapped because its initial installation costs are higher compared to other energy sources.

“Apart from that, there are no direct policies that put emphasis on the use of renewable energy resource as a way of minimising pollution in the country,” she said.

The energy future of Africa belongs to the wind and other clean sources, this is particularly true for Tanzania which is blessed with world-class wind resources often in the between nine and ten metres per second wind speed range, which is optimal across various parts of the country.

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