The Future is Blowing in the Wind

A 50-meter meteorological tower at Jabal Saraj dwarfs the work crew that just erected it.
A 50-meter meteorological tower at Jabal Saraj dwarfs the work crew that just erected it.
USAID/ACEP/Robert Foster
Afghanistan's future energy demands may be met with wind power
By some estimates, Afghanistan has enough wind potential to meet one-third of the country’s future energy needs. Most of these wind resources are in the west and north, but certain well-known wind corridors are located closer to the capital in Parwan and Kabul provinces.
To plan for wind farms that can help meet future energy demand, the country’s wind potential needs to be measured. To this end, USAID has purchased six meteorological towers and has begun installing them at selected sites in Kabul, Parwan, Hirat, and Balkh provinces.
The 50-meter towers measure wind speed at 30, 40, and 50-meter heights, as well as wind direction and temperature. They also calculate hourly average wind speed, wind shear, and turbulence intensity. The Ministry of Energy and Water will use information provided by the towers by to predict the performance of large wind turbines.
USAID is providing training to the ministry on tower operations, plus broader advice and assistance on renewable energy technologies and implementation.
The Ministry of Energy and Water, as an active partner in the process, collaborated with USAID to identify the sites for the wind monitoring towers. After the towers have been set up and calibrated, the ministry will assume responsible for collecting data and monitoring the sites
The meteorological towers and mentoring are two ways that USAID is helping build the capacity of the Afghan government to provide its people with clean renewable energy to power their homes, schools, and businesses.

Last updated: January 12, 2015

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