Brunei can harness the power of wind energy to meet its future demands of a reliable energy source that is both renewable and non-polluting, said a senior lecturer from University Brunei Darussalam (UBD). Dr Sathyajith Mathew of UBD’s Department of Physics said Brunei had the potential of diverting to a new source of energy through wind power, despite the belief that Brunei does not have strong winds. “(Results) from the research that we have obtained from the coastal winds is not bad,” he said during the first day of the Second International Conference of the Institution of Engineering and Technology at Rizqun International Hotel. Delivering his tutorial on “Frontiers in Wind Energy Research and Development”, he said that Brunei receives an annual average of five metres per second, which is believed to be sufficient to produce the amount of energy the population needs. Dr Sathyajith said that there is a potential number of areas in the Sultanate that can be suitable locations for wind turbines that are able to collect strong passing winds. A wind turbine is a rotary device that is designed to convert wind energy obtained through the propulsion of the turbine into another means of energy such as mechanical or in this case, electrical.
Wind energy, being a renewable energy source, generates cheaper and efficient form of electrical energy that does not waste or run out through the passage of time.“It has been shown through satellite data that offshore wind strengths have reached up to seven metres per second in velocity which is very good,” said the senior lecturer. In order to obtain the high wind velocity offshore, Dr Sathyajith introduced what was dubbed ‘Wind Farm on the Sea’ which consists of wind turbines planted uniformly on platforms above sea level and transmits the energy through cables connected to the main generator or station on land. “We are trying to do this with the support of the officials from the Energy Division.” He advised everyone not to rule out the possibility of wind energy as another source of renewable supply of energy but only after systematic studies can be conducted on the matter before determining what is the next step to take. Dr Sathyajith said that the public will be able to gain a glimpse of Brunei’s first wind turbine at the Ministry of Development, which he hoped would give them a general idea of how it looks and functions as a probable future energy supply.