Study: Lower Wind Speeds, Less Wind Power Potential

Michael Bates, Thursday 18 June 2009 - 11:20:40

Scientists from Iowa State University are planning to release a study in the Journal of Geophysical Research in August claiming that the effects of climate change have caused U.S. wind speeds - and, thus, wind energy potential - to steadily decrease.

However, renewable energy assessment and forecasting specialist 3TIER has reacted to news of the study, noting that "a cautionary response" is warranted.

"This and previous studies have highlighted unresolved discrepancies between observation-based and model-based estimates of wind speed trends," says Dr. Jeff Yin, a research scientist for 3TIER.

"Given these discrepancies, it is premature to draw any conclusions on what the practical impact of climate change will be on the potential of wind energy in the U.S.," he adds.

3TIER notes that a number of factors must be considered before the university's conclusions and claims can be deemed valid. For its part, the company has said it is willing to share its own research, based on computer modeling and climate variability studies, to add "another perspective to the discussion."


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