Significant multidecadal variability in German wind energy generation

Jan Wohland, Nour Eddine Omrani, Noel Keenlyside, Dirk Witthaut
2019 Wind Energy Science  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Wind energy has seen large deployment and substantial cost reductions over the last decades. Further ambitious upscaling is urgently needed to keep the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach. While the variability in wind power generation poses a challenge to grid integration, much progress in quantifying, understanding and managing it has been made over the last years. Despite this progress, relevant modes of variability in energy generation have been
more » ... . Based on long-term reanalyses of the 20th century, we demonstrate that multidecadal wind variability has significant impact on wind energy generation in Germany. These modes of variability can not be detected in modern reanalyses that are typically used for energy applications because modern reanalyses are too short (around 40 years of data). We show that energy generation over a 20-year wind park lifetime varies by around <span class="inline-formula">±</span>5&amp;thinsp;% and the summer-to-winter ratio varies by around <span class="inline-formula">±</span>15&amp;thinsp;%. Moreover, ERA-Interim-based annual and winter generations are biased high as the period 1979–2010 overlaps with a multidecadal maximum of wind energy generation. The induced variations in wind park lifetime revenues are on the order of 10&amp;thinsp;% with direct implications for profitability. Our results suggest rethinking energy system design as an ongoing and dynamic process. Revenues and seasonalities change on a multidecadal timescale, and so does the optimum energy system layout.</p>
doi:10.5194/wes-4-515-2019 fatcat:xb35fzttbvfgxdn3eklejsms5u