Jun 19, 2012

Wind Energy in Crimea

written by Sveta Kalinskaya

I became interested in the development of wind power in Crimea for a number of reasons. I was born and raised in Feodosiya on the Eastern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, so I am naturally inclined to pay attention to anything related to the Crimea. The urgency of providing reliable electrical power became clear in the 1990s, and even now (when problems with the supply of electricity are almost nonexistent) the need for affordable and stable sources of electrical power continues to grow as people make more use of modern conveniences such as air conditioners and the like. This is essential for the development of tourism in Crimea, not to mention for the comfort of the local citizens.

The second reason is that our company has long-standing ties with the nuclear energy sector, and for this reason the development of alternative energy sources is always of interest to us. The Crimean Nuclear Power Plant, which would have provided the peninsula with 2000 MW immediately (and 4000 MW down the road), was never completed. However, it is symbolically important that a solar power station has been build adjacent to the nuclear plant site. And nearby, on the eastern shore of the Aktash Reservoir, there is an experimental wind power station, developed by the YuzhEnergo company, consisting of 15 wind turbines with a capacity of 100 kW each.

Ukraine is considered to have favorable conditions for the development of wind energy. According to http://solar.org.ua/articles/1149652708, the capacity of wind power stations within the Ukrainian central power grid could reach 16,000 MW, with the resulting electrical power output reaching 25-30 TWh per year. The area required to construct these wind farms would be 2500-3000 km2, which is quite realistic if you take into consideration the shallow-water areas of the Azov Sea and the Black Sea. The best regions for constructing wind power stations are the Crimea, the Carpathian Mountains, the Azov and Black Sea shores, and the Donets Basin region on the country’s eastern border.

Sites for construction of wind power stations are chosen based on the average wind speed, the surface slope, the size of the available area, and the local infrastructure. The site http://nep.crimea.ua/info/vetryaniye_electrogeneratory.php?page=13 shows a map of the sites that are the best candidates for construction of wind power sites in Crimea based on data from the EU’s TACIS Program:

The following link has a few pictures showing the Sakskoe Lake Wind Power Station located north of Yevpatoria (photos from http://photo-discovery.livejournal.com/456658.html):

The photo, taken from http://ecoenergy.org.ua/vetrogeneratoryi/ferma-plavuchix-vetrogeneratorov.html, shows a French wind power station. As it turns out, the French are planning to build a 50 kW wind power station in the Kirov Region of the Crimea.

However attractive these wind turbines can be made to look in photographs, they do have a number of drawbacks. The first of these is the unpredictability of wind power. Unlike traditional electrical plants, wind power stations cannot be operated as baseload plants, relying instead on combination with other power plants that use renewable or non-renewable sources. Secondly, the production cost of power at wind stations is still generally higher than that of mainstream energy sources. Lastly, there are real problems associated with noise from wind power stations and interference with TV signals, and environmental problems for animals and birds, and so on.

And yet their advantage as a source of clean energy is beyond dispute.

It seems to me that wind farms compare favorably to nuclear plants in terms of appearance. They could easily become the hallmark of the Crimean Peninsula, as opposed to a frightening symbol of one of the most destructive catastrophes in recent history. I can imagine tourists riding past the windmills, gazing on the giant white towers as they race toward the beaches of Yevpatoria and Sudak, not the least bit worried about how “radioactive” they might become. 

This article used information from the following sources:

http://solar.org.ua/articles/1149652708; http://nep.crimea.ua/info/vetryaniye_electrogeneratory.php?page=13; http://photo-discovery.livejournal.com/456658.html; http://ecoenergy.org.ua/vetrogeneratoryi/ferma-plavuchix-vetrogeneratorov.html; http://www.newsland.ru/news/detail/id/895233/; http://energyinformative.org/wind-energy-pros-and-cons/; http://www.bibliotekar.ru/alterEnergy/37.htm; http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki; http://www.newsland.ru/news/detail/id/895233/

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