Examining wind energy potentials over East Africa using ERA-interim re-analysis data
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The main objective of this study was to examine the wind energy potential of hot spot areas over East Africa. In this study, monthly average wind speed Era-interim Re-analysis data for a period of 1980 – 2005 was used. This data was subjected to different statistical analysis methods and a statistical distribution method the Weibull parameter Probability Density Function was used. Based on these data, the highest wind speed observed over East Africa was 8.03 m/s and the lowest wind speed observed was 1.37 m/s in the Turkana-Marsabit region and Miombo woodland respectively for the 26-year period (1980-2005). Great annual wind energy output is observed over East Africa and the various sites, in the Turkana-Marsabit region we observe an annual average wind energy output of 374.51 W/m2, 169.54 W/m2 in the Miombo woodland, 89.38 W/m2 in Northern Uganda and 114.72 W/m2 over East Africa. The study concluded that these sites studied are suitable for small scale non-grid electrical and mechanical applications such as battery charging, water pumping, domestic lighting, agricultural applications and other simple uses. With such information acquired, it is hoped that it’s of great benefit to a broad section of users for example the Government, investors and private or individual wind energy developers in cases of decision making.