Kuwaiti taps into solar power and wind energy

Kuwait relies heavily on oil to sustain its demand for electricity. Compared to other places around the world the price of electricity is pretty low. Due to that reliance, the government is reluctant to seek other forms of alternative energy.

Mohammed Al-Naki is a Kuwaiti who decided to find a way to benefit from solar and wind energy as a hobby. He fixed wind energy fans at his house in Salwa, and this attracted people who were passing from the Messila Bridge on Fahaheel Road. It’s not common to see such fans in Kuwait, and Al-Naqi is planning to use these fans to produce energy.

His interest in wind power and solar energy started at the beginning of the 1980s. “During this period, I installed solar energy boards and I used them to heat water in the kitchen using solar energy. These solar boards got spoiled after the invasion in 1990 as a result of the burning oil wells. The black sticky liquid from the oil fires fell on the boards and damaged them. We have good aspects to benefit from solar energy. Once I also brought a clock that worked on solar energy and I presented it to The Scientific Club,” he told the Kuwait Times.

The shortage of manpower is the biggest obstacle facing Al-Naki’s projects. “I suffer from public bureaucracy and some unfair rules. I understand that the government has issued strict rule for importing manpower as there are people trading with labourers and human trafficking, but on the other hand I’m justified as I need to bring technicians from outside. But they don’t allow me to do so,” he added.

“Now I’m working on designing a small room, which I will equip with some electronic devices such as a washing machine, refrigerator, television and other appliances and I will try using them with the energy produced by the wind fans,” stressed Al-Naqi.

He was amazed by the modern courtiers’ usage of wind energy. Al-Naki is a member of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). He recently attended the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of EWEA in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Denmark has reached 10 percent of its electricity production from wind energy in 2010. They have a plan to reach 50 percent by 2025, and to reach 100 percent of electricity production from wind energy by 2050. Denmark is located on the northern sea, so they have a high energy percentage and speed most of the time. Also, it’s a developed industrial country so they are interested in the waste recycling issue to benefit from it. They have many modern stations for producing energy from different sources,” he pointed out.

“We hope to see similar projects in Kuwait or the Arab world. For 22 years, we have heard many times about similar projects to produce sustainable energy and preserve the environment, for which a huge budget was set, but we didn’t see any of these projects. This project should be part of the development plan in Kuwait. For instance, we could use the burning of waste such as tires to produce energy rather that pollute the environment by its random burning,” he added. Wind speed isn’t very high in our region, yet we can benefit from it.

“I imported fans producing wind energy from different countries but it is not functioning yet. I fixed some of the fans that were not working as they needed to be installed in higher positions,” said Al-Naki.

He thinks the best place to benefit from small wind fans that produce energy is the desert. “The camp doesn’t need much energy as they only need a light and a heater, and some also watch television. So it’s the ideal place for using it,” he said.

“I have nine wind fans installed. They are all in different shapes and sizes, so each can produce a different amount of energy. My fans can produce from 300-5,000 watts. In developed countries they have fans producing up to 25 mega watts and their size and weight is huge. They use them in electricity production stations. I also have fans combined with solar boards,” he explained.
In developed countries people collect solar energy. This is then connected to the public electricity line and is used instead of electricity. “I don’t advise people to do so individually without the permission of the government and the ministry in charge, as
this may be dangerous. Only experienced technicians can work with it,” stated Al-Naki.

There are maps of wind speeds in different areas in the country, as the speed of wind is different from one place to another. Also there are maps for the solar temperature during the year. “For instance there is the rainy season, when we don’t benefit from sun, which is short in our region. Also the wind is only available near the coastal area. Our region is rich with sun. To benefit from it, we need more sun energy boards. The houses should be designed from the beginning to accommodate the solar boards to benefit from the solar energy,” he pointed out.

“The electricity here is very cheap and people are consuming it in big quantities and as a result we suffer from pressures and shortage of electricity during summer period. So if we used wind or solar energy, we could relieve the pressure on electricity,” concluded Al-Naki.

Nawara Fattahova, http://news.kuwaittimes.net