The continuing growth in energy demand has promoted wind energy development worldwide. As anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will continue to modify the atmospheric circulation and global climate, assessing the impacts of climate change on wind energy is necessary. This study uses high-resolution simulations in the North America downscaling project (NA-CORDEX) to investigate the future change in wind resources over North America. Wind power is projected to decrease over large areas of the western US and East Coast throughout the year. The central US, with the greatest potential for wind energy development, will experience stronger wind variability and significantly increased wind power during some seasons. Wind power shows a significant increase (up to 20%) in the Southern Plains during spring and summer. The Northern Plains and the Midwest may experience slightly increased wind power (within 10%) during winter and spring. The seasonal and spatial patterns in the wind power change are relatively robust among the different emission scenarios, different future periods, and simulations with different spatial resolutions. This study outlines the regions that may benefit from or be negatively impacted by global climate change. Therefore, climate effects should be considered in the future build-out of wind energy resources.
- Climate change
- North America
- Wind energy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment