Modulation of the Global Wind Resource by the El-Nino

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Udaya Bhaskar Gunturu1,2, Chak Man Andrew Yip1 and Georgiy L Stenchikov1, (1)King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, (2)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
El-Nino is the most important climate scale oscillation in the tropical atmosphere and earlier studies have shown that it impacts weather in different parts of the world. Since the long-term stability of wind resource is a primary requirement for the reliability of wind power generation, any modulation of the wind resource by the El-Nino constitutes valuable information for efficient harvesting of wind.

In this study, we construct the global wind resource as described in Gunturu & Schlosser (2012) and use the method of composites to understand the impact of the El-Nino on the global wind resource. The results show that the impact of the El-Nino is to decrease the wind resource in the central United States, southern Australia and north central Africa. Further, interestingly, the wind resource increases in the Nordic sea and the continental areas around it. The Deccan plateau region of India also has reduced WPD due to the El-Nino as shown by the composites. On the other hand, the central US and southern Australia have increased WPD due to La-Nina and the resource decreases in India. The statistically significant results will be further discussed for their implications to the long term stability of the wind resource in the different regions of the world. We also substantiate the results with other suitable metrics.