Wind Resource Assessment in the Middle East

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Chak Man Andrew Yip, Udaya Bhaskar Gunturu and Georgiy L Stenchikov, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
This study constructs wind power resource in the Middle East using the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) boundary layer flux data at 80m, 100m, and 120m. The resource is then characterized using robust metrics on abundance, variability, and intermittency of wind power density at separate heights. The analyses suggest high resource in western regions of Saudi Arabia, especially at the Red Sea and the mountainous regions away from the coastline. Southern coast of Oman and the Gulf of Aden also demonstrate high median wind power density. These corresponding high wind regions also exhibit high availability over the period of record length (1979-2013) as characterized by power density above 200W/m2, as well as similar behavior in episode length, which measures the persistence of the resource. These identified high wind regions differ in resource variability in terms of the coefficient of variation. The western mountainous regions of Saudi Arabia and the coastline of Oman show moderate variability compared to the Red Sea, where it sees two different regimes of variability, low in the north and high in the south. The Gulf of Aden demonstrates surprisingly low variability. Further statistical measures of variability, abundance, and intermittency will be elaborated. We will also discuss the geographical and meteorological factors controlling the wind resource in the region.