Wind power and climate change in the UK

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The increasing use of wind power as an alternative to fossil-fuel based electricity generation will contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and thus help tackle the issue of climate change. However, the impacts that a changing climate may have on the output of wind power generators is currently unclear. This paper presents a technique for extracting useful surface wind information from General Circulation Models (GCMs) of the global climate system. The models are currently limited by computing resources to producing output at resolutions of 2 to 3 degrees latitude and longitude. This is not suitable for analysing surface winds which vary at much smaller scales, and thus a downscaling method is required. Regional Climate Models in which a higher resolution model is nested inside the GCM over a small area have been developed but these are expensive and difficult to run. Empirical-statistical downscaling is a cheaper and simpler alternative for climate impacts studies and a method has been developed to use the large-scale pressure gradients from a GCM to derive surface wind speeds at various sites in the United Kingdom.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Energy Security and Climate Change: Issues, Strategies, and Options (ESCC 2008)
Place of PublicationBangkok, Thailand
PublisherAsian Institute of Technology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2008


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