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Vol 40  No 4
October 11, 2007


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Researcher examines alternative energy source

Blowing in the wind
by Deborah Inkpen

Dr. Tariq Iqbal, associate professor at Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, has been focusing his scholarly energies on renewable energy systems. Dr. Iqbal received funding from the Memorial’s Harris Centre to research a new hybrid energy system for Port Hope Simpson and Cartwright that will see a reduction in the reliance on diesel-generated power.

The release of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador first ever Energy Plan, Focusing Our Energy, outlined the province’s plans for developing the “abundance of natural resource wealth” found in the province including wind and other energy sources. The plan is the province’s vision to help “achieve self-reliance and prosperity, as well as develop sustainable green energy solutions for the 21st century.”

Dr. Iqbal said he hopes the province is truly committed to the development of wind and other renewable energy sources like small hydro. He would like to see more wind projects like St. Lawrence and Fermeuse being approved by the government in the near future. He also hopes government will lift the ban on small hydro and let many projects to be developed in the very near future.

He completed a similar study for Battle Harbour last year also with funding from the Harris Centre that showed that a hybrid system could reduce diesel consumption from 30,000 litres a year to 13,000 litre a year during the tourism season from June to September, resulting in a 57 per cent decrease.

“There are times the system only uses 1/6th of the diesel normally used,” he said. “In the newly designed systems only 36 per cent of the energy comes from diesel, 50 per cent from wind and the remainder from a micro hydro unit. Initial capital cost of the new hybrid system would be about $134,000 and it would attract more tourists to Battle Harbour,” Dr. Iqbal explained.

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