Electricity plays a crucial role in the economic development of any region. Niger State is currently facing significant challenges with its electricity supply. This research examines the potential of wind energy as an alternative power source for Minna, which is situated at latitude 9° 36′ 50″N and longitude 6° 33′ 25″E. Wind speed data from five years (2012-2016), with a time integration of five minutes, was collected from the atmospheric weather station at the Physics Department, Federal University of Technology, Bosso campus, Minna. The data was analyzed and converted into monthly and annual mean wind speeds at different heights above the ground (4 m, 10 m, 30 m, and 50 m).
The analysis was carried out using the Weibull 2-parameter Probability Distribution Function (PDF) and its corresponding Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF) to assess the wind potential and distribution pattern in Minna. The study revealed that the annual average wind speeds for 2012 to 2016 were 1.35 m/s, 0.82 m/s, 0.91 m/s, 1.06 m/s, and 0.74 m/s, respectively. The average wind speeds at heights of 4 m to 10 m, 30 m, and 50 m were 0.98 m/s, 1.11 m/s, 1.30 m/s, and 1.40 m/s, respectively. The annual wind speeds from the PDF were 1.10 m/s, 1.50 m/s, 1.90 m/s, and 2.30 m/s, with corresponding cut-in wind speeds of 0.5 m/s, 0.7 m/s, 1.10 m/s, and 1.30 m/s, and a cut-out wind speed of 4.7 m/s for all heights.
The annual wind power densities were found to be 0.66 W/m², 1.29 W/m², 3.41 W/m², and 5.77 W/m², and the wind energy resources assessments were 0.02 kWh/m², 0.04 kWh/m², 0.14 kWh/m², and 0.25 kWh/m², respectively. Based on the wind power density classification, Minna falls into class 1 of the PNL wind power classification, indicating that it is not suitable for sustainable electricity generation using wind energy. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct further studies on wind energy potential in Minna and other parts of Niger State, such as Bida, Suleja, Kontagora, especially in rural areas with fewer clusters of buildings and trees, and for longer durations.
Evaluating the Wind Energy Potential for Electricity Generation in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.