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Windiness 2023

A geospatial overview of wind resource – what are the implications for you?

What do the 2023 results mean for you?

Following the wind speed analysis undertaken for the UK and Ireland, we have assessed the ‘windiness’ for various regions around the globe. We are using a common long-term reference period between 1996-2022 to assess the wind resource in 2023 for consistency across each region. It is noted that for a more thorough assessment at a country-level, the consistency of the data making up the index for each country should be investigated.

Below we present the Annual Windiness Indices for these regions, which represent the wind speed snapshot of 2023 against the long-term mean wind speed.

 

North Sea (Benelux, Scandinavia and Baltics) wind speed trends

Wind trends have seemingly switched completely compared to last year’s patterns in the North Sea area. West of the Fjordkysten regional park, the trends have declined by about 8 - 9%. On the west coast of northern Scotland, the wind trends have also declined by 7%.

Trends in northern Europe and southern Scandinavia remain close to the average with some areas reaching 2 - 4% above the average. Wind trends in southern Germany and northeast France have been significantly higher with index values reaching 11% higher than the average in the area. This is consistent with the record high wind events that have been observed and reported in these areas especially in the fall of 2023.

Comparing the windiness in the first half of the year to the second, major differences in trends can be seen. The low windiness trends off the coast of Scotland and Norway happen in the first and second halves of the year respectively. The second half of the year reveals the windiness index to be closer to the average for Scotland.

The high wind trends in southern Germany are present in both halves of the year but with significantly differing magnitudes. The second half of the year shows a larger area of high windiness which covers areas in southern Germany, northern France, Belgium as well as the Netherlands.

2023 Yearly Windiness Index North Sea

 

2023 H1 H2 Semester Windiness Indexes

 

Southern Europe wind speed trends

Windiness trends in Southern Europe illustrate an overall trend of higher wind on land and lower trends offshore. The Mediterranean coast of Spain, southern Italy, Greece, and Turkey indicate wind trends to be about 8 - 9% lower than average. Corsica, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania exhibit higher than average wind values of about 6 - 8%. A concentrated area with index values peaking at 9% higher than average can also be identified in the Black Sea, north of Turkey.

When comparing the wind trends from the first half of the year to the second, a clear pattern of higher wind trends can be seen in the second half compared to the first half. Consistent with reports of high wind events in northern Europe, these wind events were reported to be more abundant in the fall of 2023 and impacts windiness which drove values to be 15% higher than normal.

 

2023 Yearly Windiness Index Southern Europe

2023 H1 H2 Semester Wind Indexes

 

Middle East (Near East and Arabian Peninsula) wind speed trends

The Middle East experienced lower windiness trends on land and higher wind trends offshore. The northeast of Saudi Arabia and southeast of Iraq display a reduction of windiness of about 7%. The surrounding coast of the Arabian Peninsula show higher index values of about 7 - 8%.

Just east of Oman, a concentration of higher-than-average wind trends with index values 11% higher than average can be identified offshore. A similar concentration can be seen in the Persian Gulf with index values 9% above average.

2023 Yearly Windiness Index Arabian Peninsula

 

Africa wind speed trends

Africa generally experiences normal wind speed trends around the equatorial countries due to the general atmospheric circulation and the Easterly winds. While in its Northern and Southern regions, Westerly winds are usually predominant. In most parts of Africa, trade winds are responsible for constant high surface mean speeds of 10 m/s which make the region very suitable for wind energy developments.

East African countries are experiencing significant growth in the wind energy market as countries continue to diversify their energy mix. Kenya is one of the larger producers of wind energy with wind farms like Lake Turkana (310 MW) and Kipeto (102 MW).

Fortunately for both farms, they were on the narrow strip on Kenya which had a windiness index greater than one, leading to a potentially higher than anticipate AEP.

Morocco experienced a poor year when compared to the long-term average. Egypt experienced a close to average year slightly leaning towards a higher wind speed average.

2023 Yearly Windiness Index Africa

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Alex Brisbois

Alex Brisbois

Engineer

Ricardo Zetina Benignos

Ricardo Zetina Benignos

Engineer

South Africa wind speed trends

South Africa is home to over 35 wind projects with a combined capacity just over 3 GW. In 2022 South Africa saw lower than average wind speeds. Fortunately, in 2023, winds exceeded the long-term expected average with an annual windiness index between 3 and 8 %.

2023 Yearly Windiness Index South Africa

 

2023 H1 H2 Semester Windiness Indexes South Africa

North America wind speed trends

The windiness in Canada has shown different patterns in 2023 compared to that of the 2022 trends. The Hudson Bay area in 2023 showed windiness trends inline or below the average when the 2022 trends presented significantly higher than normal trends. Quebec has areas of index values around 5% under that of the average and the northwest of Canada is exhibiting slightly higher index values of 6%.

The United States is also showing reduced index values of 7 - 9% for an area stretching from Oklahoma to Washington. Offshore California, however, is showing higher index values of 7%. The remaining areas in the U.S. are relatively unchanged from the long-term average.

The contrast between the first and second half of the year shows that Canada was less windy in the first half, whereas windiness trends in the U.S. were higher. The second half of the year shows the opposite where Canada experienced more windy conditions and the U.S. was slightly under the average norm.

2023 Yearly Windiness Index North America

 

2023 H1 H2 Semester Windiness Indexes North America

Central and South America wind speed trends

With record high ocean temperatures in 2023, an above average number of storms were recorded in the West Pacific and North Atlantic. We can see the effect of these storms in the Baja California Peninsula and adjacent regions, which show a windiness index above 8%.

La Ventosa - an aptly named region in Oaxaca which translates to windy - had a very slow early start of the year with winds 5 to 10% lower than usual. This trend did not continue for the second half of the year with winds reaching an average speed of 12 m/s in December (roughly 2% stronger than the long-term average).

2023 Yearly Windiness Index Mexico

 

2023 H1 H2 Semester Windiness Indexes Mexico

 

For a second year straight Brazil experienced lower wind speeds than the expected long-term average in the northeastern region, where the majority of the wind farms for Brazil are located. The second half of the year saw higher wind speeds in Brazil along the border with Uruguay. An increase between 5 and 8% over the long-term was measured.

 

2023 Yearly Windiness Index South America

 

2023 H1 H2 Semester Windiness Indexes South America

DNV's Wind Index

DNV maintains multiple Wind Indexes for various countries and regions, which enables investors and owners to assess the performance of potential or operating projects. The Wind Index is also a robust tool for wind farm developers, empowering them to understand the ‘windiness’ of their wind monitoring campaigns compared to a long-term period.

The long-term reference period represents all years between 1996 and the year prior to the analysis. The Wind Index is normalized so that the average wind speed over the long-term period is 100%. The windiness of any given period is expressed as a percentage of the long-term average wind speed. Thus, a value exceeding 100% (or 1) indicates that a period was windier than the long-term average, whilst a value below 100% (or 1) suggests that a period was less windy.

About DNV

DNV offers a new service for generating bespoke monthly Windiness Reports for your portfolio. This includes an average of your entire portfolio and a breakdown of each one of your assets. For more information, please contact Alex Brisbois or Ricardo Zetina Benignos.

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