Article: EnergyNet “Wind for Prosperity” project

This commentary is based on the post by EnergyNet, and the “Wind for prosperity” project, which is an initiative to provide electricity through wind power generation to the some of the off-grid population in Africa. EnergyNet is an investment entity in the United Kingdom consisting of researchers and professionals in Africa who focus on projects in energy and infrastructure in the continent. To read the full post about the project and to learn more about EnergyNet, please click on the link below.

http://www.energynet.co.uk/news/energynet-calls-african-energy-ministers-support-wind-prosperity

The initiative by EnergyNet seeks the attention of the leaders in energy across the African continent to heavily consider the project, which will yield to provide wind power generated electricity to citizens who are off the grid. Wind power has been around for quite some time, with farmers using wind-mills to convert the energy of the wind into power to grind grains to generate electricity. This technique has been applied in more recent times into wind turbines that harness wind energy and directly convert into electrical power. For information on how wind power is used an energy source, the link below can help to shed light;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/energy_resources/energy_from_the_sunrev3.shtml

There is no denying the great potential of harvesting wind power for electricity, especially if done successfully. So, it is not hard to see the push for this project, as wind power is renewable; it is provided by nature, it is accessible and does not necessarily diminish in the same way fossil resources do. However, there is a disadvantage, the rate, strength and amount of this source cannot necessarily be controlled. This poses the question of resource consistency, specifically, can wind energy be reliable as a single source for electricity?

In order for the wind power technology to be successful, the wind turbines need to be placed in areas where wind is available in strength and speed rate that is more than sufficient to produce the rotational energy needed for the conversion to electrical power. From my knowledge of school geography and introductory meteorology, it is observed that strong winds are generated in areas closest to the ocean, due to the existence of the steep pressure gradient – the large horizontal  pressure difference over a distance that causes the air to move and wind to blow. So from my perspective, I would like to think that most wind projects should be located near the geographical regions that will bring about the strongest winds.

The details of the initiative have yet to be released, that being said I look forward to keeping up with any updates concerning the project. I think that “Wind for prosperity” has the potential to do exactly what it is created to do, I believe, as long as problems that may arise are not overlooked but rather used to perfect the solution that is the project.

 

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