- Joint Program Report
In times of increasing importance of wind power in the world’s energy mix, this study focuses on a better understanding of the influences of large-scale climate variability on wind power resource over Europe. The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) are investigated in terms of their correlation with wind power density (WPD) at 80 m hub height. These WPDs are calculated based on the MERRA Reanalysis data set covering 31 years of measurements. Not surprisingly, AO and NAO are highly correlated with the time series of WPD. This correlation can also be found in the first principal component of a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of WPD over Europe explaining 14% of the overall variation. Further, cross-correlation analyses indicates the strongest associated variations are achieved with AO/NAO leading WPD by at most one day. Furthermore, the impact of high and low phases of the respective oscillations has been assessed to provide a more comprehensive illustration. The fraction of WPD for high and low AO/NAO increases considerably for northern Europe, whereas the opposite pattern can be observed for southern Europe. Similar results are obtained by calculating the energy output of three hypothetical wind turbines for every grid point over Europe. Thus, we identified a high interconnection potential between wind farms in order to reduce intermittency, one of the primary challenges in wind power generation. In addition, we observe significant correlations between WPD and AMO.