Master's Research Programs
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
The main source of electricity in West Africa comes from Fossil fuels. The fossil fuels have negative impacts on the climate system. However, this will not prevent countries to produce electricity for the welfare of their population. Renewable energy such as solar energy is the way to move forward for climate change mitigation. Nevertheless, climate change has an impact on the atmospheric variables that solar photovoltaic depend for electricity generation. In this study, we investigate the impacts of climate change on photovoltaic potential over West Africa and Ouagadougou under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 in the framework of the Paris agreement. We used two Regional Climate Models (CLMcom and RCA4) from COordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) AFRICA initiative to analyze the impact of climate change on PV potential. These Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are driven by three Global Climate Models (CNRM, HadGEM and MPI). The PV potential was computed using surface wind speed, the air temperature and the downwelling shortwave solar radiation from the models and observation. The models were evaluated against the ERA-interim and Climate Research Unit. As result, the Regional Climate Model members and their ensemble mean are able to replicate the spatial distribution of air temperature and the surface wind speed with some biases over West Africa. In contrast, the CORDEX simulations are able to reproduce the spatial distribution of downwelling shortwave solar radiation. While, the mean surface wind speed falls in the inter quantile range of the Regional Climate Model members in the daily variation of surface wind speed over Ouagadougou, the mean air temperature and downwelling shortwave solar radiation are outside of the inter quantile range. Besides, for both global warming levels and both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) all the models agree in the warming over West Africa but more effective in Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and in the 2 °C global warming level.
Category: Master Program Climate Change and Energy , Master Theses
Region: Burkina Faso
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Ouagadougou may experience an increase in air temperature up to 2 °C in the daily variation under both Representative Concentration Pathways and global warming levels. Different from that, there is no agreement of the models about the change in surface wind speed, downwelling shortwave solar radiation and PV potential over West Africa for both Representative Concentration Pathways and global warming levels. Finally, the inter quantile range of the Regional Climate Models project a change in the daily variation of those variables over Ouagadougou. The results of this study will help decision-makers to plan for long term solar energy for electricity generation over West Africa and Ouagadougou.