Modern wind turbines can more than offset the decline in global wind resources

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Wind energy contributes significantly to the sustainable and low-carbon transformation of the energy sector. However, the efficiency of wind turbines depends on the available wind resources and the technical characteristics of the wind turbines.

Climate change could lead to a decline in global wind resources in the 21st century. At the same time, the technical properties of wind turbines are constantly improving. Based on global climate models and newly developed techno-projections, researchers Dr. Christopher Jung and Prof. Dr. Dirk Schindler were able to estimate these two opposing influencing factors and calculate their impact on the global and regional efficiency of wind turbines by 2060.

One of the conclusions is that the efficiency of the global wind farm could increase by 23.5% by 2035, assuming favorable climatic trends, if the use of wind energy is optimized. The findings of the two scientists from the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Friborg have been published in the journal natural energy.

High spatial resolution

The two researchers’ calculations provide an important basis for the future potential for the global expansion of wind energy. In their study, they identify accessible regions where wind resources can be used most efficiently under future climate conditions. The approach enables the best locations in the world to be determined with particularly high spatial resolution for individual wind turbines and wind farms.

“What was surprising was the low impact of climate change on the wind resource compared to the planned technical development of wind turbines,” says Jung. Thus, the decline in wind resources induced by climate change can be more than offset by the modernization of the wind farm. Fluctuations in resource availability from year to year are also greater than the overall impact of climate change on usable wind.

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Material provided by University of Friborg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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