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Kiribati Wind Resource Mapping

Amali Shaw's picture
Submitted by Amali Shaw on February 8, 2016 - 10:36am

A recently completed wind survey indicates that the windward side of Kiritimati Island has sufficient wind resource to provide cost-effective generation. One of the main issues is connecting together the small grids on the north-west cluster of settlements and also interconnecting the north-east settlement cluster separately. Each can be considered for wind power integration into the two resulting grids. The Ministry of Line and Phoenix Development (MLPID) is now implementing the grid centralisation project for the north-west cluster of settlements – both villages and institutions – by extending the transmission lines and installing a bigger generator to supply the load for that newly interconnected cluster. This centralisation plan is also geared toward future renewable energy integration as planned between MLPID and MPWU. South Tarawa has not yet been surveyed for wind energy but the University of the South Pacific has installed a 34-metre mast near Buota for wind speed measurements. Nearby Abaiang will also receive a similarly instrumented wind survey mast to help provide information for possible outer island wind energy use.

If sufficient wind energy is available at sites useful for the PUB, then some of the potential problems that will need to be overcome to make wind turbines cost-effective on North Tarawa are:

  • land access issues;
  • environmental issues, such as noise and safety in densely populated South Tarawa;
  • the need to cut down large numbers of economically useful tall coconut trees in order to provide a clear path for winds to reach the turbines without turbulence and loss of energy; and
  • technical concerns regarding the integration of substantial wind energy capacity with the 900 kW of solar energy that is to be installed on the North Tarawa grid.

Source: IRENA Country Lighthouse Report

Energy Resouce Category: 
Wind
Data Category: 
Data Thematic Areas: 
Keyword: 
wind resource monitoring mapping
Year: 
2013
Countries: