New understanding of UK wind speeds could lower energy costs

The variability in offshore wind speeds in UK waters is “significantly lower” than previously thought, according to a new report from the Crown Estate.

The report, called ‘Study on UK Offshore Wind Variability’, revealed the inter-annual variability (IAV) of wind speeds to be in the range of 4 to 5.5 per cent lower than the current industry standard of 6 per cent.

The Crown Estate explains that revised figure was established by creating new regional wind speed indices for UK waters where wind farm development is taking place, with the indices then used to derive more accurate estimates, which were validated against sources of offshore measured data.

The Crown Estate believes the findings “pave the way for improved project projections which can help bring down the cost of energy, with the findings also presented to the International Electrotechnical Committee 61400-15 working group and the UK Wind Resource Group.

Crown Estate’s Matthew Clear said: “This report reveals a significant improvement in our understanding of the UK’s offshore wind resource.

“We hope that industry will begin to reflect this reduced variability into their assessments to help create a more attractive financing proposition for investors and support continued cost reduction over the long term.”

The report was carried out by DNV GL for the Crown Estate.

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