The threatening impacts of climate change are driving a global revolution towards cleaner sources of energy. In South Africa, strategies for energy security and emissions reduction are focusing on renewables, wind energy being one of the most promising ones.
The construction of wind energy projects has attached limitations in the identification of suitable areas that respect the environment and are technically feasible. Herein, site selection criteria has been grouped into the Site Identification group (SIG), and the Resource & Energy Generation group (R&E). The SIG incorporates technical, environmental and restricted criteria within a spatial frame; while R&E accounts for the wind resource, estimated energy generation and fitting to energy demand profiles under a spatial-temporal frame.
The average wind resource is usually found to be analysed together within the technical factors to determine the feasibility of a site; however for this study, a different and independent treatment of the wind resource and its energy generation profile was undertaken. It consists of evaluating the unique hourly wind power profile of each site against the energy consumption profile for the same period.
The need is for selecting places with the smallest variation between the electricity produced and the electricity demanded. The Production to Demand Difference (PDD) has been chosen as the indicator of such variations. Therefore, the new purpose is to identify spots where the combination of the PDD and the results from the SIG become smaller with time. The Mean Difference (MD) is also taken into account to obtain further information regarding the trends of the differences. Geoprocessing, overlays and mathematical combinations of datasets are all performed under a GIS environment.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2015.