Is this the right time for Sudan to replace diesel-powered generator systems with wind turbines?

Sulaiman O. Fadlallah, Djamal Eddine Benhadji Serradj, Delight M. Sedzro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Access to electricity is vital in rural regions of Africa. There is substantial potential to utilise wind energy, yet investment in renewable energy projects is trivial because it has been insufficiently endorsed. As a result, most people living in remote regions of Africa rely entirely on diesel-powered generators, which expel pollutants in substantial amounts. These adversely affect the health of people and the environment. Sudan – one of Africa's largest countries – has a range of resources from which renewable energy could be generated, including favourable wind power generating conditions. This paper represents the first effort in literature to use a strategic perspective to explore how viable wind energy systems are in Sudan. It reports a study using the Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) across 21 diverse sites in Sudan. It identifies the optimal wind turbine system and best locations and analyses the costs involved and how much pollution could be prevented by implementing wind farms instead of diesel systems. The results establish that the optimal type of wind turbine across the investigated locations is the Enercon E−138 EP3. Wind farm use is expected to avoid almost 49 million kg/year of pollutants and reduce energy cost by US$0.91317/kWh. The optimal sites for utilising wind energy were Wawa, Dongola, Karima, Wadi Halfa and Al-Goled in order of suitability and their low costs of electricity and high wind speed records. Wind turbine pricing is predicted to reduce over time, so the study varied the cost of wind turbines to understand the impact on project economics. A reduction in wind turbine costs by 10 % lowered energy cost to between US$0.03681/kWh and US$0.04052/kWh. A further 25 % price drop reduced the cost of energy to between US$0.03067/kWh and US$0.03376/kWh. This study reveals the significant potential of integrating renewable energy into the energy mix of Sudan and provides an essential reference for wind farms in the energy sector across other developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume180
Early online date11 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2021

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