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Feasibility of wind power integration in weak grids in non-coastal areas of sub-saharan Africa: the case of Mali

1 UNEP DTU Partnership, DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Marmorvej 51, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
2 Agence d’Energie Renouvelable, AER, Mali
3 DTU Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksborg-vej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
4 DTU Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
5 Luc Dewilde, 3E, Quai à la Chaux 6, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Topical Section: Wind Energy

Installed wind capacity in Africa has grown rapidly the last few years, and by late 2016 had reached about 4.8 GW. However, so far few investments have been made in inland localities due to the generally lower wind potential. This paper therefore explores if and to what extent it is possible to establish economically feasible wind-power plants in countries with lower wind potential. To address this question, the paper provides a combined wind resource mapping and a pre-feasibility study for grid integration of wind power at four specific sites in Mali. The study finds that Mali has generally poor wind conditions, with average wind speeds of below 5 m/s at 50 m above ground level in the south, while there are larger areas in the northern part with average wind speeds of above 7 m/s at 50 m above ground level. Overall the research shows that in countries with generally poor wind conditions, such as in the southern part of Mali, it is possible to identify a limited number of sites with local speed-up effects situated close to the existing grid, at which there are options for undertaking medium-size wind-power projects that would be economically feasible at current crude oil prices of 50 USD/barrel.
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