Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar will be critical in meeting the European Green Deal’s goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 55 percent by 2030 and becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. Green energy, on the other hand, has its own set of obstacles, not least of which is the resource’s fluctuating nature. With accurate information about the past, present, and probable future climate in Europe, data from the C3S (Copernicus Climate Change Service) aid in assessing the variability of renewable energy resources such as wind power.

Renewable energy accounted for 22.1 percent of total final energy consumption in the EU in 2020, up from 9.6 percent in 2004, with a target of at least 32 percent by 2030. The wind is now the most important renewable energy resource in the EU, accounting for 36% of overall electricity produced from renewable sources in 2020.

The EU’s Fit for 55 initiative aims to double solar and wind capacity by 2025 and triple it by 2030, saving 170 billion cubic meters of gas each year. Wind speeds, on the other hand, might fluctuate dramatically from year to year at any one site. For example, the European Commission’s landmark European State of the Climate assessment C3S indicates that regions of northern and central Europe witnessed exceptionally low winds in 2021, with several nations experiencing some of the lowest yearly average wind speeds ever since least 1979.


Understanding the Variability of Wind

Governments, energy businesses, and wind farm builders and operators require to comprehend wind variability in order to get the most out of Europe’s wind potential. C3S helps users in the wind energy sector gain a better knowledge of this variability by providing end-to-end climate reanalysis data which allows them to take action to achieve maximum wind energy output. Users can make educated site-specific choices for wind farms using the data, which is publicly available in the Climate Data Store. In addition, C3S has created an Energy Operational Service that provides crucial information on climate-related metrics that are vital to the European energy sector.

The Vortex project is one example of C3S wind data being put to use in the energy sector. Vortex maps wind resources and provides wind and location information to assist in wind farm design as well as resource analysis, which helps to locate prospective high-wind regions for wind power production around the world. Vortex utilizes climate reanalysis data from ERA5 – the ECMWF’s 5th generation atmospheric reanalysis of the worldwide climate spanning the years from January 1950 to the present.

ClimateScale, a Vortex spin-off, also leverages C3S climate data plus downscales ERA5 reanalysis at the high resolution to give on-demand global climate change estimates that may be used by a variety of industries, including wind energy. The Global Wind Atlas, on the other hand, aids in the identification of possible high-wind regions for wind power generation all over the world.

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