Keywords: renewable energy potential, solar power, wind power, solar energy, wind energy, exergy analysis, energy analysis, exergy efficiency, energy maps, exergy maps, Europe, temperature, pressure, relative humidity, global radiation, wind speed
Energetic and exergetic assessment of solar and wind potentials in Europe
This paper deals with a physics–based assessment of renewable energy potential in Europe, particularly solar and wind energy sources, using two literature models. A sensibility analysis with the weather data is first done. Actual temperature, pressure, relative humidity, global radiation and wind speed data are employed to develop energy and exergy maps for Europe, based on iso–areas of land–use. These maps are compared with similar existing ones. A good agreement is obtained. A paradoxical result is found for wind exergy efficiency. The yearly average exergy efficiency where wind speed is less than 5 m/s is greater than that where wind speed is greater than 7 m/s. This can be explained by the 'dome' shape of wind exergy efficiency. A solar efficiency map for Europe is also developed to serve as a useful guide for choosing a renewable energy form based on yearly energy production.