Offering climate services to the wind energy industry is not without its challenges. Users are curious about the potential impacts of climate change on their projects. While estimates of wind resources are based on historical assessments, many questions arise. What if 20 years of past data is not enough to sample the internal variability of the site? Will the long term average wind speed change beyond the margins already taken into account in the project design? Will extreme speeds change in such a way that design parameters will no longer be valid? Very often, however, these users are reluctant to use information, specifically time series, that cannot be “correlated” with their onsite measurements.
In this presentation we describe our journey as a climate services SME, in search of tools and approaches that we could use not only to provide robust information to these users, but also information that they could trust and eventually incorporate in their decision making.
In particular, we focus on a use case building storylines for a concrete wind development target area. These storylines are built as plausible future conditions that are consistent with the current climate projections, and at the same time maximally sample their uncertainty. Our storylines provide a rationale not just to estimate the potential impacts of climate change on wind resources, but also to understand the mechanisms driving these changes and the robustness of the climate model projections. Additionally, being conditioned on for instance, different levels of global warming, they provide the wind resource scenarios that can be fed into climate risks analysis now being required by new sustainability regulations, such as the ‘EU taxonomy for sustainable activities’.
Faced with the challenge of providing uncertain climate change information to users strongly tied to observation-driven reconstructions of climate conditions, we believe that these storylines offer an opportunity to facilitate the adoption of climate change information by a range of users, from the technical experts doing the energy assessment, to the management in charge of strategic decisions.