EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Future projections of wind energy capacity factors over Europe using CMIP6

Idunn Aamnes Mostue1, Marianne Zeyringer1, Trude Storelvmo2, and David Ruiz Baños3
Idunn Aamnes Mostue et al.
  • 1University of Oslo, Deparment of Technology Systems, Norway (
  • 2University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Norway
  • 3University of Oslo, Department of Mathematics, Norway

In a rapidly changing climate, changes in the frequency and intensity of future extreme weather events is expected to pose complex impact on future
weather-dependent energy systems. The contribution by Working Group I to the latest IPCC report (AR6) includes for the first time a dedicated chapter
on weather extremes. It demonstrates that even relatively small incremental increases in global mean temperature (+0.5C) cause statistically significant
changes in extremes on the global scale and for large regions. In 2021, Europe experienced the worst wind drought in 60 years, followed by extreme heatwave episodes and a national daily maximum temperature record of 40.3C in the UK in 2022.

The transition of the energy sector to renewable energy is key to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming, but this also increases the energy sector’s exposure to future weather extremes in a changing climate. The impacts of climate variability and climate change on present and near future national energy systems are increasingly well documented within the literature. However, within this interdisciplinary field of research there has been little attention on impacts of extreme weather events on the energy system operations. Modellers usually use historic weather data and therefore do not consider ”new” extreme weather risks, posing problems on both the operational and infrastructural side. Omitting those risks can lead to designing systems that are operationally inadequate, i.e. prone to (long) power outages leading to major social, economic and health consequences.

The present work aims to study the variability of renewable energy generation for weather years under different future climates over Europe. We will use different future climate scenarios from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6th Phase (CMIP6), to assess future projections of wind energy capacity factors. The global datasets of climate data will be adapted for Europe where we will interpolate the wind speed based on model-level raw data and further create energy capacity factors. We expect this study to be a first step in exploring the future changes in and occurrences of extreme weather events, and how these will impact the generation of renewable energy over Europe. This will in turn contribute to the knowledge on how we can plan for climate resilient renewable energy systems robust to future extreme weather events over Europe.

How to cite: Mostue, I. A., Zeyringer, M., Storelvmo, T., and Ruiz Baños, D.: Future projections of wind energy capacity factors over Europe using CMIP6, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7150,, 2023.