Wind resource evolution in Europe under different scenarios of climate change characterised by the novel shared socioeconomic pathways

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Martinez Diaz, Abel
Iglesias, Gregorio
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Wind energy is a fundamental pillar of the energy mix in Europe ? hence the need for understanding the evolution of the wind energy resource under climate change. For this purpose, near-, mid- and long-term wind speed projections from 18 global climate models are considered and a multi-model ensemble is constructed with the ones found to best reproduce past-present conditions. The evolution and temporal variability of wind power is investigated considering different climate change scenarios through the novel Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). More specifically, two SSPs are considered, each corresponding to its own socio-economic and political environment and, therefore, its own level of greenhouse emissions: SSP5-8.5 (highest emissions scenario) and SSP2-4.5 (intermediate emissions scenario). Both scenarios lead to a significant reduction (up to 35%) in wind power density in northern Continental Europe and the Central Mediterranean, and an increase of similar magnitude in West Finland. Over the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland and Britain the resource is also projected to decrease significantly. In other regions, however, the general trend (positive or negative) depends on the SSP scenario. This is the case, notably, of Central Europe, with considerable growth in SSP2-4.5 but some reduction in SSP5-8.5. Thus, in the intermediate emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5) both growth and decline in wind power density are forecast, depending on the region. By contrast, in the highest emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5) the forecast is a general decrease, of the order of 15% overall, with an annual rate of change of approximately ?0.2% and an increase in seasonal variability. These trends will affect the energy production of wind farms and, therefore, need to be accounted for in assessing wind power projects in Europe.
Wind energy , Wind power , Climate change , Renewable energy , Multi-model ensemble , Shared socioeconomic pathway
Martinez Diaz, A. and Iglesias, G. (2021) 'Wind resource evolution in Europe under different scenarios of climate change characterised by the novel Shared Socioeconomic Pathways', Energy Conversion and Management, 234, 113961 (16pp). doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2021.113961
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