Balancing Europe's wind power output through spatial deployment informed by weather regimes.

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Title: Balancing Europe's wind power output through spatial deployment informed by weather regimes.
Authors: Grams, CM
Beerli, R
Pfenninger, S
Staffell, I
Wernli, H
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: As wind and solar power provide a growing share of Europe's electricity1, understanding and accommodating their variability on multiple timescales remains a critical problem. On weekly timescales, variability is related to long-lasting weather conditions, called weather regimes2-5, which can cause lulls with a loss of wind power across neighbouring countries6. Here we show that weather regimes provide a meteorological explanation for multi-day fluctuations in Europe's wind power and can help guide new deployment pathways which minimise this variability. Mean generation during different regimes currently ranges from 22 GW to 44 GW and is expected to triple by 2030 with current planning strategies. However, balancing future wind capacity across regions with contrasting inter-regime behaviour - specifically deploying in the Balkans instead of the North Sea - would almost eliminate these output variations, maintain mean generation, and increase fleet-wide minimum output. Solar photovoltaics could balance low-wind regimes locally, but only by expanding current capacity tenfold. New deployment strategies based on an understanding of continent-scale wind patterns and pan-European collaboration could enable a high share of wind energy whilst minimising the negative impacts of output variability.
Issue Date: 17-Jul-2017
Date of Acceptance: 13-Jun-2017
ISSN: 1758-678X
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Start Page: 557
End Page: 562
Journal / Book Title: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 7
Issue: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. The final publication is available at
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: EP/N005996/1
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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