The Wind Energy Potential of Iceland

Nikolai Nawri, Guðrún Nína Petersen, Halldór Björnsson, Andrea N. Hahmann, Kristján Jónasson, Charlotte Bay Hasager, Niels-Erik Clausen

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    Downscaling simulations performed with theWeather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were used to determine the large-scale wind energy potential of Iceland. Local wind speed distributions are represented by Weibull statistics. The shape parameter across Iceland varies between 1.2 and 3.6, with the lowest values indicative of near-exponential distributions at sheltered locations, and the highest values indicative of normal distributions at exposed locations in winter. Compared with summer, average power density in winter is increased throughout Iceland by a factor of 2.0e5.5. In any season, there are also considerable spatial differences in average wind power density. Relative to the average value within 10 km of the coast, power density across Iceland varies between 50 and 250%, excluding glaciers, or between 300 and 1500 W m_2 at 50 m above ground level in winter. At intermediate elevations of 500 e1000 m above mean sea level, power density is independent of the distance to the coast. In addition to seasonal and spatial variability, differences in average wind speed and power density also exist for different wind directions. Along the coast in winter, power density of onshore winds is higher by 100 e700 W m_2 than that of offshore winds. Based on these results, 14 test sites were selected for more detailed analyses using the Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program (WAsP).
    © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRenewable Energy
    Pages (from-to)290-299
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license


    • Wind energy potential
    • Wind atlas
    • Mesoscale modelling
    • Wind resource mapping
    • Iceland


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