In the last few decades wind power has been consolidated as a key driver in the changing energy model the world is going through. Good evidence of this can be seen in the spectacular growth of the wind sector, both in Europe and worldwide. According to European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) figures, installed wind capacity in Europe grew from 4.8 to 94 GW between 1997 and 2011, which accounts for 6.3% of Europe’s entire current energy demand.
This growing trend will undoubtedly continue over the next few years, with forecasts indicating 230 GW by 2020 and 400 GW by 2030, which would mean between 15 and 30% of Europe’s electricity production and in economic terms represent 1% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product. In this context it is easy to understand the industry’s increasing interest in improving its analysis, operations and management of the wind resource, both in offshore environments and onshore.
At on-shore farms the wind resource can vary substantially from one point to another depending on local orographic effects and land features. On the other hand, wind turbines disturb the wind field, generating a wake which affects the performance of other wind turbines located downwind and which, in off-shore surroundings, can take on considerable sizes.
Article published in: FuturENERGY December 2013