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DNV GL has created prelimary wind atlases for Zambia, Tanzania and Maldives as part of a World Bank-funded energy management programme to encourage wind energy generation 

windenergy blickpixel pixabayThrough maps, DNV GL can provide investors with verifiable and tangible information on wind energy potential in the three African nations. (Image source: Blickpixel/Pixabay)

The Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) aims to reveal the extent of wind energy production potential in the three countries, and DNV GL’s test results have already revealed opportunities in the region, following wind flow modelling.

Phase 1 of the project began in June 2014 and is set to run until 2018. The first phase, completed in May 2015, saw DNV GL carry out wind flow modelling to create a preliminary atlas of wind energy production potential. DNV GL was also responsible for conducting intensive workshops for key governmental stakeholders and decision makers in each country, delivering training on interpretation of wind atlases, wind resource assessments, energy policy essentials, and bankable measurement campaigns.

The second phase will involve the installation of met masts at various locations in each country to allow experts to collect data for a period of two years. In addition, DNV GL will train local companies in Tanzania, Zambia and Maldives to build and maintain the masts.

The final part of the project involves creating a redefined and validated meso-micro wind atlas for each country, combining DNV GL measurements and real-life figures.

ESMAP is implementing a major global initiative designed to support renewable energy resource assessment and mapping for biomass, small hydro, solar and wind. It has allocated $22.5mn to support 12 country projects over a four-year period up to 2018.

Specifically, the three African countries are fast growing, yet bring with them their own set of challenges with respect to energy generation. Either they have outdated electrical infrastructure, or worse, don't have any at all. Zambia, the government has estimated, has only about three per cent access to electricity, while Maldives imports refined fuel as electricity costs exceed US$1 per kwH – substantially higher than energy costs in most developed countries.

DNV GL global head of Mesoscale Modelling Daran Rife said, “The potential of renewable resources in these regions is not yet well understood and they don’t currently have the means or expertise to get better insight. The idea behind these projects is to discover the potential of renewables in these countries, with all key outputs and datasets being made publicly available through the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy that is being developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).”

The three governments are expected to use DNV GL’s maps to develop policies and strategies for wind energy. According to Rife, the maps are key to attracting investors to the region.