92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:45 PM
An Assessment of the Renewable Energies Potential for Intensive Electricity Production in the Province of Jaén, Southern Spain
Room 345 (New Orleans Convention Center )
José A. Ruiz-Arias Sr., Univ. of Jaén, Jaén, Spain; and D. Pozo-Vázquez, V. Lara-Fanego, F. J. Santos-Alamillos, S. Quesada-Ruiz, Linares-Rodríguez, J. M. Martínez-Valenzuela, A. Molina, and J. Tovar-Pescador

Nowadays, the global energy generation system relies mostly on fossil fuels. However, their foreseen depletion for the forthcoming decades puts at risk the current schema and suggests a gradual transition to a more self sustainable system. Additionally, the fossil-fuels-based energies have contributed along the last decades to the global warming and the climate change. As a consequence, the European Union (EU) committed in March 2007 to set a binding target for 20% of the EU's total energy supply to come from renewables by 2020. In Spain, this target should be achieved by means of a 30% contribution of renewables for electricity production. In this scenario, solar and wind energies are probably the only long-term supply-side energy solutions that are both large enough and acceptable enough to sustain the planet's long-term requirements. Therefore, a deep knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of these renewable resources is paramount. Together with a detailed study of the most suitable connection points to the electrical grid, the spatio-temporal distribution of the resources helps to decide the best distribution of the utilities and to achieve an improved planning of the electricity production, which will lead to both higher quality and more reliable production systems.

In this work, we tackle the study of the renewables' potential for electricity production in the province of Jaén (southern Spain) and propose a sustainable electrical scenario mostly based on them. The renewables with highest potential in the region are solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and biomass (from olive trees – Jaén is the biggest producer of olive oil worldwide). All of them have been evaluated independently and the results jointly analyzed with a Geographical Information System, which is a valuable tool in supporting the policy-makers decisions. Solar radiation has been evaluated based on the results of a solar radiation model. Wind energy potential was estimated with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical weather model. Olive biomass potential was evaluated considering only burning processes of prune residuals (we did not consider olive stones, for instance).

Based on the study results, we propose the installation of 5 biomass facilities totalling 98 MW with an estimated annual production around 760 GWh, 12 PV facilities of 35 MW of power capacity, with an estimated annual production about 656 GWh and 506 MW of wind power capacity in a number of wind farms, with an estimated annual production of 825 GWh. Overall, this production frame would meet roughly a 75% of the electricity demands in the province and thus would largely mitigate the current unbalance (in 2008, the electricity production in Jaén only covered one third of its total demand).

Supplementary URL: