UNDP wind power project

According to the UNDP (2012-9-24):

In Hanchon, a district in Pyongwon county of South Pyongan province, the small wind energy project team visited the houses of two farmers Mr. Ri Chum Uk and Mr. Kin Yong Ki, who have had wind turbines installed inside their homes. These are small wind turbines, 5 metres high with 300 Watts of installed capacity charging individual 12 volts batteries. With it the farmer says he can operate such electric items as 2 bulbs, a TV, a DVD or a karaoke system with amplifier.

When asked, the two farmers each explained that they had paid $150 for the wind turbine, and spent $5.00 on annual maintenance cost. This info was not independently verified.To charge a full battery takes between 4 to 6 hours and can last about 7 days, depending upon the wind speed and the state of the battery. In the village, it seems that one or two neighbours can each bring their battery to get it charged at Mr. Ri or Mr. Kim’s house.

When asked “what did they like the best with this admittedly small improvement“, both replied; “to have electricity when I want it”.

In this county alone, according to the local county manager, 100 turbines were installed in people’s households and in farm offices, made in the Daily Necessities Factory in the adjacent county of Sukchon. Mr. Kim Ryong Kuk, the manager of the Factory explained that almost once every quarter, he or his colleagues were observing almost 60 turbines in order to get feedback from clients. All users receive training during installation by the manufacturer. Batteries are made locally or in China.

The role of UNDP’s small wind energy project is to promote and diffuse this green technology by improving quality standards and guidelines and demonstrating best practices for households along with social buildings to directly improve people’s energy status in concrete ways.

These types of projects aim to provide support to rural populations in concrete ways. I have no doubt that there will be many obstacles along the way but I feel that we can overcome them in time and in the process improve peoples’ lives.On another day, we went to Pyongsong city to see a larger Mast (10 Kilo Watts) and a solar panel in full use at the County Hospital. We could see how the staffs were strategic in their use of the renewable energy to conduct operations and obstetric aid in emergency cases during electricity cuts; the wind turbine is backing up the work of two operation rooms and two emergency rooms. When looking through the door of one emergency room, the surgeon, operating on a young boy’s leg, saw me and pointed at the light overhead appreciatively. The whole package of a 5 kW wind turbine and a solar panel is $30,000.

These types of projects aim to provide support to rural populations in concrete ways. I have no doubt that there will be many obstacles along the way but I feel that we can overcome them in time and in the process improve peoples’ lives.

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