Prospects and Challenges of Decentralized Wind Applications in the Himalayan Terrain  

T.V. Ramachandra1,2,3 , Gautham Krishnadas1
1 Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, 560012, India
2 Centre for Sustainable Technologies, India Institute of Science, 560012, India
3 Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP),Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012, India
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Energy Bioscience, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/jeb.2012.03.0001
Received: 03 Sep., 2012    Accepted: 12 Sep., 2012    Published: 19 Oct., 2012
© 2012 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Ramachandra and Krishnadas, 2012, Prospects and Challenges of decentralized wind applications in the Himalayan Terrain, Journal of Energy Bioscience, Vol.3, No.1 1-12 (doi: 10.5376/jeb.2012.03.0001)


Wind energy has the potential to meet energy needs in remote areas. Exploitation of wind resource requires prospecting at the regional levels to assess the technical feasibility for small-scale wind applications. In situations of sparse primary data (surface wind), synthesised wind data based on prudent models are helpful. The current study focuses on the prospects of wind energy in the federal state of Himachal Pradesh, India, characterized by undulating terrain. Three synthesised wind data were collected based on physiographical understanding of the region and validated with long term surface wind measurements available for limited locations. The most representative synthesised wind data were re-validated using statistical methods and seasonal wind profiles were mapped through geospatial techniques. Variations of seasonal wind speeds in the region were consistent with surface measurements and highest range of 1~3.25 m/s was observed in the monsoon season. Large spatial influences of the elevation gradient were observed in the seasonal wind profiles. The high elevation zone (including Lahual Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu and Shimla districts) in Himachal Pradesh have relatively higher wind speeds (> 2 m/s) during all seasons. These districts were identified as suitable candidates for detailed wind exploration. Wind potential in Himachal Pradesh is observed to be suitable for small-scale wind applications like low wind speed turbines, agricultural water pumps, wind-solar hybrids, space/water heaters, battery charging etc. Improvement in small-scale wind technologies will provide impetus to decentralised and cost effective solutions to meet energy demand in remote regions sustainably.

Renewable energy; Wind energy; Himalayas; Himachal Pradesh; Small wind
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