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Twenty Years of European Wind Power Production

Balancing Effects in Europe with a Focus on Germany

Philipp Henckes, Andreas Knaut, Frank Obermüller

Figure: Visualization of the modeled Hurricane “Kyrill” and its impact to the German wind production (hourly base).  The video shows the time span from 14.-20. January. Kyrill reached Central Europe on 18. January (0:20min) and headed further East.


The increase of wind power production in Europe can be regarded as a recent development, that has taken place during the last 5 - 10 years. Empirical observations of wind power production for a high level of installed capacities are thus very limited. Nevertheless, the future power systems will depend, to a large extent, on the unique characteristics of wind power production, such as long term variability (yearly) and short term variability (hourly), on which information is scarce.

In this work, we develop a model that uses reanalysis data to calculate wind energy production in Europe with the current wind power parks and based on the historical weather of the years from1995 to 2014. The model uses high resolution reanalysis data obtained from COSMO with hourly resolution on a 6kmx6km grid. We validate the model based on observations for the German electricity market in 2014. By applying the model for the wind parks in 2014 to the time period from 1995 to 2014, we are able to assess the long and short term variability of wind power production over a time span of 20 years.

We identify a long term variability of wind power production that can vary by up to 18% in Germany. The long term variability strongly depends on the countries location and can be as low as 13% for Sweden or up to 34% for Czech Republic.

The analysis of short term variability is divided into three parts. First, we analyse the need for short-term flexibility based on the maximum hourly variation of wind power production in Germany in the respective time period. Second, we analyse the role of German wind power in the European electricity system by looking at the correlation of German wind power production with respect to European countries. Third, we set a focus on the role of different wind production regions within Germany for the German electricity system and identify areas with comparably high and low value to the electricity system. Especially the last two points are analysed with a special focus on extreme wind conditions, such as long lasting low wind conditions or storms.

For further information, please find the paper here. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217317280?via%3Dihub)