A new study into the UK’s offshore wind resource has revealed that variability in wind speeds is significantly lower than previously understood.
The report, undertaken by DNV GL on behalf of The Crown Estate,
paves the way for improved project projections which can help bring
down the cost of energy.
Historical studies of the inter-annual variability (IAV) of wind
speed have focused on measurements from onshore meteorological
stations. These studies have created an industry standard estimate
of wind speed IAV at 6%, which has been widely adopted across many
global markets since the early 90's.
'Study on UK Offshore Wind Variability' has now revealed an IAV
range of 4-5.5% to be more appropriate across the UK offshore
The 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 revised figure was established through creating new regional
wind speed indices for areas of UK offshore waters where wind farm
development is taking place. These indices were then used to derive
more accurate estimates that were validated against sources of
offshore measured data.
Marie-Anne Cowan, DNV GL's Project Development team, said: "DNV
GL were delighted to work with The Crown Estate and undertake a
study into UK offshore wind climate variability, with the intent to
reduce the LCoE for future offshore wind projects. The Crown
Estate's unparalleled access to wind data within UK offshore
waters, coupled with DNV GL's extensive experience of performing
wind resource assessments for UK offshore projects, allowed a
unique opportunity to perform a validation of the results presented
in the study. This is a topic closely aligned with DNV GL's
previous offshore wind work, which includes our Offshore Wind Cost
Reduction Manifesto, and we look forward to working together with
industry to achieve reduced LCoE for future offshore wind
The findings have also been presented to the International
Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) 61400-15 working group and the UK
Wind Resource Group who have both expressed support for the work
A spokesperson on behalf of the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC), the world's leading organisation for the
preparation and publication of International Standards for all
electrical, electronic and related technologies, said: "Whilst the
study focused on IAV for UK offshore wind, the methods used could
have a positive impact on financing for the wider global wind
energy sector. For this reason, the wind resource experts meeting
as part of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
61400-15 working group were consulted to peer review the work and
consider the implications for industry practice and standards."