Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Climate Change Impacts on Wind Power Generation

TitleClimate Change Impacts on Wind Power Generation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalNature Reviews Earth & Environment
Abstract / Summary

Wind energy is a virtually carbon- and pollution-free electricity source, with global wind resources greatly exceeding electricity demand. Accordingly, the installed capacity of wind turbines grew at an annualized rate >20% from 2000 to 2019 and is projected to increase by a further 50% by the end of 2023. In this Review, we describe the factors that dictate the wind resource magnitude and variability and illustrate the tools and techniques that are being used to make projections of wind resources and wind turbine operating conditions. Natural variability due to the action of internal climate modes appears to dominate over global-warming induced non-stationarity over most areas with large wind energy installations or potential. However, there is evidence for increased wind energy resources by the end of the current century in northern Europe and the US Southern Great Plains. New technology trends are changing the sensitivity of wind energy to global climate non-stationarity and thus present new challenges and opportunities for innovative research. The evolution of climate modeling to increasingly address mesoscale processes is providing improved projections of both wind resources and wind turbine operating conditions and will contribute to continued reductions in levelized cost of energy from wind power generation.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0101-7
DOI10.1038/s43017-020-0101-7
Journal: Nature Reviews Earth & Environment
Year of Publication: 2020
Publication Date: 10/2020

Wind energy is a virtually carbon- and pollution-free electricity source, with global wind resources greatly exceeding electricity demand. Accordingly, the installed capacity of wind turbines grew at an annualized rate >20% from 2000 to 2019 and is projected to increase by a further 50% by the end of 2023. In this Review, we describe the factors that dictate the wind resource magnitude and variability and illustrate the tools and techniques that are being used to make projections of wind resources and wind turbine operating conditions. Natural variability due to the action of internal climate modes appears to dominate over global-warming induced non-stationarity over most areas with large wind energy installations or potential. However, there is evidence for increased wind energy resources by the end of the current century in northern Europe and the US Southern Great Plains. New technology trends are changing the sensitivity of wind energy to global climate non-stationarity and thus present new challenges and opportunities for innovative research. The evolution of climate modeling to increasingly address mesoscale processes is providing improved projections of both wind resources and wind turbine operating conditions and will contribute to continued reductions in levelized cost of energy from wind power generation.

DOI: 10.1038/s43017-020-0101-7
Citation:
Pryor, S, R Barthelmie, M Bukovsky, L Leung, and K Sakaguchi.  2020.  "Climate Change Impacts on Wind Power Generation."  Nature Reviews Earth & Environment.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0101-7.