Climate Change May Affect Wind Patterns, Says Research Collaboration


Youwind Renewables and Climate Scale have warned that climate change interacting with wind pattern variability may introduce uncertainties in the projection of sector resources and impact the economic outcomes of offshore projects.

Per a study conducted by the collaboration, while offshore energy holds potential, its weather-dependent nature presents challenges that might be addressed to ensure project viability.

Published in the IOP’s Science Journal of Physics, Conference Series, the study analyzed the impact of climate change on the economic indicators of an offshore wind park project. Socioeconomic pathways were analyzed for the Irish Sea (IS), the Princess Elizabeth Zone (PEZ) and Fortaleza, Brazil (BF). 

The study’s research demonstrates that climate change led to a decline in the internal rate of return (IRR) projects in the IS and PEZ sites starting from the 2040s onward, relative to IRR projections based on historical wind data. In contrast, the results for BF were neutral to positive.

“Providing developers with the tools to account for the impact of climate change on offshore wind projects, as well as navigate the uncertainty of climate scenarios, is essential,” says Pieter Gebraad, chief development engineer at Youwind. 

“Climate modeling offers critical insights into how global warming affects atmospheric circulation and wind patterns. By combining our expertise with climate change modeling experts, we can provide a more comprehensive understanding of potential risks and opportunities, ensuring that wind farms are resilient and economically viable in the face of changing wind patterns.”

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