Optimal Siting of Wind Energy Sources in Egypt based on Multi-Criteria GIS-AHP Method
Due to the main dependence on fossil fuels in the production of electricity and in light of the global development in all sectors, which in turn means the need for more energy, it was necessary to use clean and sustainable alternatives to obtain electricity through renewable energy, and this is what the world is currently moving towards, especially The Arab Republic of Egypt, which is the case study of this research.Several previous studies have identified the optimal sites to harvest wind energy and other renewable energies in some regions of Egypt or at the level of the entire Republic.The latest studies concerned with determining the preferred wind energy harvesting sites in Egyptwas in 2018, and during the recent years, the development of roads and electricity networks took place in Egypt, which are considered among the most important criteria for spatial suitability of renewable energy plants, which in turn necessitated a re-preparation of the suitability map for harvesting wind energy. This study updated the databases entered into GIS to obtain the modified optimal sites of wind energy sources in Egypt to keep pace with the development in road and electricity networks. Several spatial databases have been created and an integrated GIS system has been developed. Eight different criteria have been selected then weighted using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The results showed that the Egyptian region have about 85697.37 km2 suitable for wind energy harvesting, while about 916142.63 km2 are unsuitable areas, representing about 8.55% and 91.45% from its total area respectively. It was also assured that reliance in Egypt on wind energy only as a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels is not enough, but rather complements the reliance on other alternatives such as solar energy, biomass energy and others. A suitability map was obtained and the optimal sites for harvesting wind energy were determined, which in turn will help decision-makers for new investments in wind energy, which were evident that they are concentrated on the Red Sea coast.