Use of RCM simulations to assess the impact of climate change on wind energy availability

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    Abstract

    There is considerable interest in the potential impact of climate change on the feasibility and predictability of renewable energy sources including wind energy. This report presents an application and evaluation of physical (dynamical) downscaling toolsfor examining the impact of climate change on near-surface flow and hence wind energy density across northern Europe. It is shown that: - Simulated wind fields using the Rossby Centre coupled Regional Climate Model (RCM) (RCAO) during the control period(1961-1990) exhibit reasonable and realistic features as documented in in situ observations and reanalysis data products. - The differences between near-surface wind speed and direction calculated for the control run (January 1, 1961 – December 30, 1990)based on boundary conditions derived from two Global Climate Models (GCM): HadAM3H and ECHAM4/OPYC3 are comparable to changes in the climate change projection period (January 1, 2071 – December 30, 2100) for two emission scenarios (SRES A2 and B2). Thesedifferences are also of similar magnitude to differences between the RCAO fields in the control period and the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data. - The RCAO simulations for the 2071-2100 period indicate evidence for a small increase in the annual wind energyresource over northern Europe between the control run (January 1, 1961 – December 30, 1990) and climate change projection period (January 1, 2071 – December 30, 2100), and for more substantial increases in mean wind speed and energy density during thewinter season (December – February), but the uncertainty of these prognoses remains high. The model hierarchy developed under ENDOW forms the basis of design tools for use by wind energy developers and turbine manufacturers to optimise power output fromoffshore wind farms through minimised wake effects and optimal grid connections. The design tools are being built onto existing regional scale models and wind farm design software which was developed with EU funding and is in use currently by wind energydevelopers. This maximises the expected impact of this project through efficient use of existing resources and ease of upgrade for end-users.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages111
    ISBN (Print)87-550-3368-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R
    Number1477(EN)
    ISSN0106-2840

    Keywords

    • Risø-R-1477
    • Risø-R-1477(EN)

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