To assess the potential for wind energy over the region, we use the Weather and Research Forecasting model (WRFV3.7) coupled to a 1-Dimensional lake model. Seto et al.(2012) land cover projections for the year 2030 were used for the sensitivity. Simulations were conducted for different years, that is 2009, which was a climatological year, 2006 an extremely wet year and 2010 a dry year.
With the current land cover the wind speeds show that Kenya and Tanzania have a high potential in wind energy. Some parts of Uganda also show high potential in wind energy. Different resolutions show different wind speeds, with the coarser resolution missing some regions that have high wind speed. No major differences were obtained by looking at different years. The highest wind speeds occur in the early hours of the day and in the evening. The probability of getting wind speeds greater than 3.5 m/s, the typical cut-in speed for a small turbine to start generating power is greater than 60%. Using future projected land cover, we find that the wind speed over the urbanized region changes slightly with some urbanized regions having slightly higher wind speeds. Further analysis on why wind speeds increase will be done. In conclusion East Africa has the potential to expand their wind power energy and urbanization has an effect on the wind power energy production.