As long as the wind blows

Belarus uses only 0,25 % wind and 6,4 % hydro energy potential

Issues of development of renewable energy will be reflected in the new Concept of energy security and rise of energy independence of Belarus

The topic of energy security, reduce dependence on imported energy, meeting the growing needs of the economy is a key for each state. And Belarus is no exception.

It is logical that not having a significant mineral deposits and being forced to import traditional raw materials in significant quantities, we aim to reduce this dependence. In particular, by means of use local and renewable energy sources (RES).

Envy of Grabniki

The task of the target program to increase to 25 per cent of the production of electricity and thermal energy through the use of local fuels and alternative energy sources for the period up to 2012 was performed. That was noted at the beginning of this year in the Department of Energy Efficiency of the State Committee for Standardization. At the same time, share of RES, which was voiced, was not too high. Energy of solar, wind, biogas in the overall balance was only about 6 percent. In this case, according to the International Energy Agency share of RES in global electricity generation accounted for 18,7 percent in 2008. And by 2035 this figure will reach 33 percent.

But does this mean that Belarus is a country, which deprived of the possibility to use the potential of renewable energy more widely? Not at all. Today, Scientific Secretary of the Center of System Analysis and Strategic Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Candidate of Technical Sciences Oleg Belyj told, Belarus uses only 0,25 percent wind energy, hydropower potential – 6,4 percent. At the same time, as demonstrated by studies of scientists, technically feasible potential of renewable energy sources in our country much more. For example, according to Oleg Belyj, wind energy can carry to power «piggy bank» of the country 4,3 billion kilowatt hours per year, energy of the water – 2,6 billion, of the sun – 150–250 billion. The potential of biogas plants only in the agricultural organizations is estimated at 635.6 thousand tons of coal equivalent.

Successfully operating in Belarus mountings by develop of RES, argue that this is not the fantasy of a handful theorists. In particular, to work of mounting with a capacity of 1,5 MW, that built in the   Novogrudsky district near the village Grabniki, enviously watching from abroad. At the utilization factor of 23 %, it is at the level of the best European index.

When the farm and ecology are well

On the whole, according to Oleg Belyj, if constitute the RES rating for Belarus, biogas plants will take it first place. And not just, because the payback period for wind turbine takes 10 years, and for a biogas plant – 6–8. But also because it is able to solve a range of problems. First, biogas plant is able to give not only electrical but also heat energy.  Second, to make a high quality fertilizer for farmland. This, incidentally, is a big plus for the ecology.

Solar potential as in Germany

It is advisable to use RES. For example, if we are talking about a small town or village where there is a factory for the production of pellets, which needs electricity, it is much more profitable to establish there a windmill or a solar panel on the roof, than to pull transmission lines. «These are this examples, and they show good results, –  says Oleg Belyj. – And if it is to cooperate with the biogas plants, the effect can be more further».

However, the interlocutor laments: demand for RES appeared here for and we are not ready for this. And technologically and morally. Until now, the work of some of the RES involves a lot of misconceptions. For example, the view, that a lot of noise from the wind turbine, or that it contributes to the death of birds. «There are calculations that the death of birds from power lines is ten times higher than that from wind turbines»,    comment on Oleg Belyj.

It is a mistake to think that Belarus can’t use the wind as are not too windy by us, that we can’t use solar potential, because we have sunny weather is less than a third of the year. «So far, we have measured the wind speed at weather stations, and there are 10 meters, while modern wind turbines have a tower height of 90 meters and more. Yes, in under wind can reach speeds of 3–3,5 m/s, but above – are 4–6 m/s. And there are very much this regions in Belarus, – scientist explains. – Moreover, wind turbines are improved. A similar situation exists with solar energy. Modern solar panels produce energy and in cloudy weather. Terms of Belarus is almost the same as in Germany, which now goes to the first position in the world in the use of solar energy».

We would fabricated the mast and blades

But the increased use of renewable energy sources in Belarus could solve a number of issues, in particular the retention of staff in the village. After all, solar, wind, biogas plant is a complex machine, which modern professional should control. This installation in rural areas can attract young people.

But that`s not all. Oleg Belyj convinced that Belarus itself in a position to start manufacturing the majority of elements of many plants for the production of renewable energy. Let we not be able to release the wind turbine entirely. But we would fabricate the mast, blades and other details. This would enable the funds will save 30 percent of the cost that we pay for the transport of wind turbine from the same German. There are such technologies, the machine tool industry developed from us enough. There are skilled workers, – he notes. – Moreover, we could not only produce these parts, but also to sell them.

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