In the Middle East, near-surface wind resources are intermittent. However, high-altitude wind resources are abundant, persistent, and readily available and may provide alternative energy resources in this fossil-fuel-dependent region. Using wind field data from the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications Version 2 (MERRA-2), this study identifies areas favorable to the deployment of airborne wind energy (AWE) systems in the Middle East and computes the optimal heights at which such systems would best operate. AWE potential is estimated using realistic AWE system specifications and assumptions about deployment scenarios and is compared with the near-surface wind generation potential with respect to diurnal and seasonal variability. The results show the potential utility of AWE in areas in the Middle East where the energy demand is high. In particular, Oman and Saudi Arabia have a high level of the potential power generation with low annual variability.
Yip CMA, Gunturu UB, Stenchikov GL (2017) High-altitude wind resources in the Middle East. Scientific Reports 7. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10130-6.
The research reported in this publication was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) under grant number RGC/3/1815-01. For computer time, the research team used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. MERRA-2 data used in this study were provided by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through the NASA GES DISC online archive. The authors thank Dr. Virginia A. Unkefer and Linda Everett for editorial assistance in the preparation of the manuscript.
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