Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bhutan: Hydro-Power

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is the only Democratic Monarchy in the World. In the late 1980s, Bhutan's University of Oxford-educated king famously asserted that gross national happiness (GNH) was more important than gross national product (GNP), and yes, he meant it seriously!! An interesting assessment of the Kingdom's recent modernization plans and its impact on the culture can be read at TechReview.

However, what really interests me is how it is self-sufficient in its energy demands (although not too much consumption!!) using ONLY hydro-power.
Here are some facts..
* Bhutan’s total electricity output from the major hydro-power projects as of September 2004 stands at 445 MW.
* Total domestic consumption is 105 MW.
* Bhutanese currency is the ngultrum (Nu). The approximate exchange rate is Nu 42 for one US dollar. The ngultrum is on par with the Indian rupee (both the Nu and Indian Rupee can be used in Bhutan).
* The hydroelectricity power sector is the single biggest revenue earner of Bhutan. This is achieved by exporting excess power to India. According to the government sources, by the year 2006, Bhutan would be exporting about 6,400 MUs of power annually. The revenue from hydropower projects along with earnings from the other traditional revenue sources could reach about Nu. 15 billion annually.
* Bhutan’s hydro-electricity power potential is estimated at over 30,000 MW. Out of which, safe and exploitable water resources potential are estimated at 16,000 MW.
* The major hydro-power projects in Bhutan are -
1.Chukha (fully operational) 2.Tala (under construction), 3.Kurichhu (commissioned in 2002), 4.Basochhu (commissioned in 2005), 5.Punatsangchhu (MoU signed)

Related Links:
Kingdom of Bhutan
Bhutan Power Corporation
Department of Tourism - Bhutan
Bhutan News Online
The Centre for Bhutan Studies
Embassy of India, Bhutan
CIA World Fact Book - Bhutan

Update: Other countries with more than 90% hydro-power of the total installed capacity include Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Paraguay, Zambia, Norway, Congo, Cameroon, Albania, Lesotho, Tadjikstan, Brazil, Georgia and Nepal. Hydro-power share in India's total capacity is around 26%.

Wind Power Evaluation

For wind energy enthusiasts, here is a cool study (first time supposedly) of the wind power potential in the world. The paper is titled "Evaluation of Global Wind Power" and authored by Christina L. Archer and her advisor Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University.

India Slant:
To know more about wind power potential, operators, existing systems, recent news, etc. in India, please visit WindPowerIndia (a website that has been operational since 2000). A list of states that have wind power installed capacity (as of March 31, 2004) include..
1.Tamil Nadu - 2036.9 MW, 2.Maharashtra - 456.3 MW, 3.Karnataka - 410.7 MW, 4.Rajastan - 284.8 MW, 5.Gujarat - 253.5 MW, 6.Andhra Pradesh - 120.6 MW, 7.Madhya Pradesh - 28.9 MW, 8.Kerala - 2.0 MW, 9.West Bengal - 1.1 MW
Total Installed Capacity = 3594.8 MW

Here are some facts..
* World-wide installed wind-power capacity at the end of March 2005 reached 50,630 MW. India attained the fourth position by superseding Denmark. The first five countries are..
1.Germany (17000 MW), 2.Spain (8959 MW), 3.USA (7000 MW), 4.India (3595 MW), 5.Denmark (3115 MW)
(Source : Wind Power Monthly, July 2005)
* With 2037 MW installed capacity, wind power in Tamil Nadu is now 18% of total installed capacity of 11113 MW by all sources as on March 31, 2005.
* A good number of wind turbine manufacturers are active in India and producing Wind Electric Generators (WEGs) of rating 225 kW to 2000 kW.
* A National Renewable Energy Policy, now under consideration, envisages 10% of total installed capacity through Renewables. By 2012 AD, projected wind power installation is likely to be around 5000 MW.
* Financial assistance for Renewable source of energy is available through IREDA, a supporting arm of MNES, Govt. of India.
* The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES), Govt. of India has established a Centre for Wind Energy Technology at Chennai with field test station at Kayathar to act as technical focal point for wind power development in the country.

Related Links:
Ministry for Non-Conventional Energy Sources
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency
Indian Wind Energy Association
Centre for Wind Energy Technology
Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association
EU-India Wind Energy Network
Suzlon Energy Limited

Update: Windicator from windpower-monthly.com

Friday, July 22, 2005

Energy Blog India

India, Energy: Two words
Population: One Billion+
Opportunities: Infinite

  • ADB India
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  • World Oil
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  • World Resources Institute
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  • Govt. of India (Ministry of Power)
  • Govt. of India (Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources)
  • Govt. of India (Dept. of Atomic Energy)
  • Govt. of India (Planning Commission)
  • Central Electricity Authority
  • Wind Power India
  • NTPC
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  • India Energy Report
  • Mithradham
  • Centre for Wind Energy Technology
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