The Impact Of Climate Change On Wind Power Production In Scotland
Free (open access)
239 - 250
L. M. Miu
Climate-forced changes in atmospheric circulation patterns can pose challenges to the development of an efficient wind energy industry. The predicted shifts in circumpolar storm tracks and pressure gradients have a significant effect on local wind resource availability, and impact the wind energy industry in a time of crucial expansion. This study uses Scotland as a case study to model the impact of the SRES A1B climate change scenario on current wind resource availability and wind power potential at two wind farms: Gordonbush (NE Scotland) and Dun Law (SE Scotland). The results predicted an increase of wind resource availability at Gordonbush, and a decrease at Dun Law, leading to corresponding changes in net annual electricity production: a 31.7% increase at Gordonbush and a 31.8% decrease at Dun Law by the year 2040. The majority of observed changes can be attributed to climate-forced changes in atmospheric circulation patterns; however, this research also shows the impact of turbine specifications and site characteristics on the vulnerability of wind power production to climate change. Further work is needed to establish a robust relationship between large-scale climate forcing and local wind resource availability, and to integrate this relationship into the assessment framework of on-shore wind farms around the world.
climate change, wind energy, atmospheric circulation, storm tracks, vulnerability