Wind energy is expected to contribute to alleviating the rise in energy demand in the Middle East that is driven by population growth and industrial development. However, variability and intermittency in the wind resource present significant challenges to grid integration of wind energy systems. These issues are rarely addressed in the literature of wind resource assessment in the Middle East due to sparse meteorological observations with varying record lengths. In this study, the wind field with consistent space–time resolution for over three decades at three hub heights (50m, 80m, 140m) over the whole Arabian Peninsula is constructed using the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) dataset. The wind resource is assessed at a higher spatial resolution with metrics of temporal variations in the wind than in prior studies. Previously unrecognized locations of interest with high wind abundance and low variability and intermittency have been identified in this study and confirmed by recent on-site observations. In particular, the western mountains of Saudi Arabia experience more abundant wind resource than most Red Sea coastal areas. The wind resource is more variable in coastal areas along the Arabian Gulf than their Red Sea counterparts at a similar latitude. Persistent wind is found along the coast of the Arabian Gulf.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: 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 No. RGC/3/1815-01. For computer time, this research used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. MERRA data used in this study have been provided by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through the NASA GES DISC online archive. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of our manuscript and their many insightful comments and suggestions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering