Europe’s Wind Productivity to Rise 30%
Researchers from Imperial College London and ETH Zürich have developed a new multi-decade simulation of wind power production in Europe. Using global weather data from NASA, they estimated the hourly output from tens of thousands of wind farms that are currently operating or in the planning pipeline. With this, they found that technical improvements over the last ten years have led to significant increases in average capacity factors – and that the continued move towards larger machines placed further offshore will see this continue into the future. They predict that Britain’s capacity factor will rise from 32 to 39%, and Germany’s from 19 to 29% because of large developments in the North Sea, whereas capacity factors in Spain and Italy will see more modest growth due to limited new investment. Their research has led to the development of a new open-access tool that can simulate wind and solar power anywhere in the world, which is available at www.renewables.ninja.
By Iain Staffell, Imperial College London, UK, and Stefan Pfenninger, ETH Zürich, Switzerland