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Wind and wind power characteristics of the eastern and southern coastal and northern inland regions, South Africa

  • Research on Sustainable Developments for Environment Management
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The objective of this work is to understand the fluctuating nature of wind speed characteristics on different time scales and to find the long-term annual trends of wind speed at different locations in South Africa. The hourly average mean wind speed values over a period of 20 years are used to achieve the set objective. Wind speed frequency, directional availability of maximum mean wind speed, total energy, annual energy yield and plant capacity factors are determined for seven locations situated both inland and along the coast of South Africa. The highest mean wind speed (6.01 m/s) is obtained in Port Elizabeth and the lowest mean wind speed (3.86 m/s) is obtained in Bloemfontein. Wind speed increased with increasing latitudes at coastal sites (Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth), while the reverse trend was observed at inland locations (Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria). Noticeable annual changes and relative wind speed values are found at coastal locations compared to inland sites. The energy pattern factor, also known as the cube factor, varied between a minimum of 1.489 in Pretoria and a maximum of 1.858 in Cape Town. Higher energy pattern factor (EPF) values correspond to sites with fair to good wind power potential. Finally, Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth are found to be good sites for wind power deployments based on the wind speed and power characteristics presented in this study.

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above ground level


energy pattern factor


wind power density


wind turbine


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Authors acknowledge the support of the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia, for funding this work through grant number DF191002.

Location abbreviations


CPT Cape Town

DRB Durban

ELD East London

JHB Johannesburg

PEZ Port Elizabeth

PRT Pretoria

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SR contributed in performing the analysis and preparation of tables; NN contributed in the collection of literature and in writing the introduction; MAM, JPM, MMA and LMA contributed in writing and reviewing the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Narayanan Natarajan.

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The authors declare no competing interests

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Rehman, S., Natarajan, N., Mohandes, M.A. et al. Wind and wind power characteristics of the eastern and southern coastal and northern inland regions, South Africa. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 85842–85854 (2022).

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