Climate impact on wind power production

How does a warmer climate affect the future wind resource and thereby changes the wind power production? This information is important for the wind power industry and for any decisions made with respect to the future electrical energy system.

The latest IPCC report “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change” calls for immediate action of shifting investments from fossil fuels to renewable energies. This implies a major transformation in the energy system sector and important investment decisions with respect to energy production and storage need to be taken.

Wind power potential under future climate

As a part of the electrical energy production, on- and offshore wind power deployment offers a great potential, especially in Northern Europe. In the recent years, wind turbine design has improved and the cost per installed megawatt capacity decreased. However, the wind resource is intermittent and the electrical energy system needs to be designed respectively to assure energy security.

"Knowledge on possible trends of the wind power resource is an important aspect for future wind power investments", says Elena Malz, researcher at the Rossby Centre, SMHI.

Elena is currently part of an on-going research project investigating the impact of climate change on the wind power production. Using the HCLIM climate model, wind speed data can be obtained up to the year 2100 with a 3h-temporal resolution and a 12km-spatial resolution. The wind data is analysed in detail to capture trends regarding low-wind periods and average wind speeds.


Map of Scandinavia, highlighting the areas of few (blue) and many (red) calm days within the course of one year.

Sustainable energy system in Scandinavia

´"In order to relate this information to the electricity production the wind data is transformed to wind power production.  Furthermore, the data will be used to model and investigate the possible composition of a cost-optimal, reliable and sustainable energy system in the region of Scandinavia", Elena adds. 

The research is on-going until end of 2022 and conducted in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology and Profu, a private consulting company based in Gothemburg. Elena will present ongoing results at the Swedish Climate Symposium in Norrköping, May 16-18th 2022.