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 [CES], 2 Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra),
3 Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author:


Wind energy has the potential to meet energy needsin 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 inthe 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.

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

Citation : Ramachandra. T.V. and Gautham Krishnadas, 2012. Prospects and challenges of decentralized wind applications in the Himalayan terrain., Journal of Energy Bioscience, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-12 (doi: 10.5376/jeb.2012.03.0001).
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : +91-80-2293 3099/2293 3503-extn 107,      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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