Solaun, K., & Cerdá, E. (2020). Impacts of climate change on wind energy power–Four wind farms in Spain. Renewable energy145, 1306-1316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2019.06.129

Highlights

• Climate change will affect wind speed and therefore wind energy production.

• In four wind farms in Spain we project variations in wind speed of up to ± 5%

• This will imply changes in production ( ±8%) and in operative margins ( ±10%).

• The regulatory framework is more relevant in comparison

Abstract

There is a growing interest on how climate change may affect the energy sector, including changes in wind energy generation. This paper builds on existing research adding an economic component that considers how climate change can affect operating margins and investment values in specific wind farms in Spain. A projection of wind speed was carried out using an ensemble of three climate models, two scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5) and two time periods (2018–2041 and 2042–2065) per plant. Using historical power curves, the changes in wind speed were converted to production output. The results show variations in production of up to 8% and changes in operating margins up to 10%. Seasonal generation may fluctuate as well, with an increase in summer and decrease in winter. An investment analysis was also conducted to consider how climate change may influence future developments in the sector.

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