Assessment of Wind Energy Alternative in Nigeria from the Lessons of the Katsina Wind Farm

Aliyu Dadan Garba, Mohammed Al-Amin


The harnessing of kinetic energy through the wind has been used for centuries, be it in form of powering sail boats, windmills or furnaces. However it was not until 1979 that the modern wind power industry began in earnest with the production of wind turbines. The use of wind energy as a form of renewable energy gained momentum in the 80s and 90s and there are now thousands of wind turbines operating all over the world (Abdelaziz et al 2011; Fangbele et al 2011).

The modern and most commonly used wind turbine has a horizontal axis with two or more aero-dynamic blades mounted on the shaft. These blades can travel at over several times the wind speed, generating electricity which is captured by a medium voltage power collection system and fed through to the power transmission network.

Wind farms can range from single turbines for domestic use, through to large commercial farm either onshore or off-shore. The energy emitted is measured in watts per hour (kilowatts, megawatts and gigawatts), the turbines currently in manufacture have power ratings ranging from 250kW to 5MW. To put that into perspective, a 10kW turbine will generate enough electricity generation to meet the annual electricity consumption of an average house hold in the US or 10 rural villages in Nigeria. Regardless of the size of the farm, the placement of the turbine is the key to its success.

Wind farms are often opposed and refused planning permission, due to general belief that they ruin the natural environment; in very remote locations, there may be a lack of available transmission lines, protected fauna that may be displaced by the farm, not to mention the difficulties in transporting the turbines to the site in the first instance. Despite its setbacks, wind power is still seen to be cheap, low maintenance form of renewable energy which makes it imperative for Nigeria to adopt among its energy mix (Kwon 2010).

The study area  is in Katsina State of Nigeria. Katsina State extends from the arid southern Sahara (where there are important towns such as Jibiya, Katsina, Maiadua and Daura), Southwards through the semi-arid dry lands (with important towns like Dutsin-ma and Kankia) to the semi-arid savannah (with important towns like Malunfashi and Funtua). These settlements mentioned could be placed on an effective wind energy alternative for domestic electricity generation. The Katsina wind project could achieve this but there are several misgivings from the critics of the project. This chapter is intended to review the factors considered necessary in setting such a project i.e project’s cost, wind penetration, wind predictability, wind reliability and energy storage. The objective of the research was to assess the extent at which these factors were considered in the project.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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