An online profile during the duration of my studies at the Department of Geoinformatics at the university of Salzburg, Austria.Within this profile, I have documented some of the valuable knowledge that I gained in the course and examples of some projects that I was able to execute during my studentship.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Thesis: Assessment of photovoltaic solar energy potential in Kenya
to affordable and sustainable energy resources could have a major impact to the
economies of developing countries and in the livelihoods of the citizens of
those nations. Solar energy is one of the readily available renewable energy
resources and especially to the countries which are located within the tropics.
Kenya is one of the countries in the tropical region and receives an average of
6.5 sunshine hours in a single day throughout the year. The main reason for the
slow adoption of solar energy resources in Kenya has been the general lack of
information of the spatial variability of the characteristics of solar energy
potential within the country. The second reason has been due to the high cost
of solar energy technology and the lack of a comprehensive legal framework in
support of investment in solar energy sector.
The aim of
this work was to assess the potential of solar energy in Kenya and particularly
the potential of photovoltaic solar energy generation. The main factors that
have an influence on the incident solar radiation that were considered in the
study were atmospheric transmissivity and the nature of topography. The
influence of atmospheric transmissivity was factored in by modelling monthly
transmissivity factors from a combination of cloud cover, diffuse ratios and a
correction for the influence of elevation on atmospheric transmissivity. The
contribution of topography on the other hand was factored into the model by
applying hemispherical viewshed analysis to determine the amount of incident
global radiation on the surface based on the orientation of the terrain. This
was implemented through the Solar Analyst Tool in ArcGIS 10. In order to
integrate the different spatial datasets in the model, GIS methods and tools
of the analysis showed that on average, approximately 95% of the land in Kenya
has the potential of receiving approximately 5kWh/m2/day throughout
the year. From the analysis of the monthly data, the maps of monthly solar
energy potential in the period between April and September had relatively large
areas of land characterised as high potential areas when compared to the other
months. This task successfully attempted to assess and to document the spatial
variability in the characteristics of solar energy potential in Kenya.
Key words: energy, solar energy, renewable energy,
Note:The online map of monthly and annual solar energy potential in Kenya can be found here.