Keywords: wind energy, remote islands, wind-hydro, desalination, stochastic behaviour, clean water, renewable energy
Energy and clean water coproduction in remote islands to face the intermittent character of wind energy
In many small- or medium-sized remote islands, there is a significant electrical power shortage, where the water resources are quite limited. This unfavourable situation results in the operation of high cost autonomous thermal power stations and the transportation of fresh water of questionable quality at extremely high prices. Wind energy can definitely contribute on solving these problems at a rational investment and operational cost. To face the intermittent and stochastic wind behaviour, a combined wind-hydro configuration is proposed in collaboration with an appropriate desalination plant. The proposed solution leads to high wind energy penetration rates and bounds the operational hours of the existing internal combustion engines, additionally contributing to the air pollution reduction. Besides, significant water quantities can be produced, remarkably reinforcing the water reserves of the local community with fresh water of desired quality. Consequently, the configuration investigated can efficiently fulfil the electrical energy and the clean water requirements of numerous remote communities on the basis of clean and low cost wind energy, overcoming the intermittent and stochastic behaviour of the wind.