As the demand for renewable energy sources energy grows worldwide, small-scale urban wind energy (UWE) has drawn attention as having the potential to significantly contribute to urban electricity demand with environmental and socio-economic benefits. However, there is currently a lack of academic research surrounding realizable UWE potential, especially in the South African context. This study used high-resolution annual wind speed measurements from six locations spanning Cape Town to quantify and analyze the city’s UWE potential. Two-parameter Weibull distributions were constructed for each location, and the annual energy production (AEP) was calculated considering the power curves of four commonly used small-scale wind turbines (SWTs). The two Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) showed higher AEP and capacity factors than Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) ones. A diurnal analysis showed that, during summer, an SWT generates the majority of its electricity during the day, which resembles the typical South African electricity demand profile. However, during winter, the electricity is mainly generated in the early hours of the morning, which does not coincide with the typical load demand profile. Finally, the calculation of Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) showed that SWT generation is more expensive, given current electricity market conditions and SWT technology. The study provides a detailed, large-scale and complete assessment of UWE resources of Cape Town, South Africa, the first of its kind at the time of this work.
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