Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries with a total area of 825 600 km2. There are still many residents in the country without access to electricity, and with the present rapid technological development the need for electricity is increasing constantly. However, the expansion of the electricity grid is slow and costly, resulting in that many cannot afford to be connected and therefore a clear need for small scale electricity production has been identified. For this reason it was chosen to investigate this need closer and examine how a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine designed by InnovEd would meet the demand; also to identify suitable sites as well as purchase and maintenance schemes to promote wind turbines or other similar off-grid renewable energy solutions in rural Namibia. Additionally, an identification of possible variations and sensitivity of wind turbine performance and guidance and recommendation for future work were desired.
In this study it was chosen to follow a grounded theory where the qualitative data was collected through interviews and general observations during a field trip in northern Namibia. The data were collected for two months in collaboration with the Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions.
The results showed that the demand for electricity in rural areas was large but that a small amount of electricity can make a big difference to primarily run the most important devices. Lighting turned out to be most significant for the respondents, even if they would like to run all sorts of electrical equipment for everything if given a reliable and low-cost energy supply. This was in line with the literature that shows that it is normally the next step after meeting the most basic needs. It showed also that the price of electricity was of utmost importance for the local population.
Finally, the authors recommend continuing to involve the users in the next stages of development where the major step would be to test the product with the users and to develop reasonable pricing and maintenance procedures. This should be followed by the creation of a local business and production plan for such products to reach a wider market as soon as possible.
2015. , 63 p.