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PO075: The cutting-edge experience of Morocco in Wind Resource Assessment and in Selecting the Best Wind Energy Farms Locations.
Moulay Hafid Bouhamidi, Exploration Director, Masen
Wind energy is one of the most available energies in Morocco that could contribute appreciably to the improvement of national energy mix. A crucial activity during the development phase of a wind project is the Wind Resource Assessment (WRA). The study of the wind resource is a fundamental component of a wind project: it determines the annual production and allows the project leader to draw up a business plan. An error of a few percentages in the evaluation of the wind potential can have very important consequences on the future profitability of the project. There are two different types of wind resource assessment exercises: * The macro evaluation that is done at regional or national level. It can also be at the global level to discover areas with wind resources and assess the potential for wind energy use. * Project-wide evaluation that turns out to be a very detailed micro-analysis Thus, this study is part of the characterization of the wind resource in order to quantify it in the most accurate way possible throughout the Moroccan kingdom and this, based on a reliable wind atlas and a high quality wind database. It is in this perspective that Morocco has developed its own Wind Atlas with high spatial resolution and quality. Moreover, Identifying optimal locations for wind farm energy is a key issue in the wind energy development process. However, site selection is a complex study that involves not only technical considerations, but also economic, social and environmental constraints. Our research aims to develop a comprehensive and multi-criteria approach based on GIS (Geographical Information System) and MCDM (Multi-criteria Decision Making) for the assessment of suitable locations for wind farm energy in Morocco. Our work showcases the experience of Morocco in the assessment of the wind resource and quantification and reduction of uncertainties. Then, we present the main results of the site-selection approach based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) methods to determine weights of sitting criteria (factors and constraints), and to develop a composite suitability map from single-factor maps representing these criteria. The research leads to a national suitability map for wind farms locations to support Masen's sustainable spatial policy related to wind energy. Keywords: Wind Energy, Wind Atlas, Site-selection, GIS, MCDM, Criteria.