Climate Change and Renewable Energy Generation in Europe: Long-Term Impact Assessment on Solar and Wind Energy Using High-Resolution Future Climate Data and Considering Climate Uncertainties
Journal article, 2022

Climate change can strongly affect renewable energy production. The state of the art in projecting future renewable energy generation has focused on using regional climate prediction. However, regional climate prediction is characterized by inherent uncertainty due to the complexity of climate models. This work provides a comprehensive study to quantify the impact of climate uncertainties in projecting future renewable energy potential over five climate zones of Europe. Thirteen future climate scenarios, including five global climate models (GCMs) and three representative concentration pathways (RCPs), are downscaled by the RCA4 regional climate model (RCM) over 90 years (2010–2099), divided into three 30-year periods. Solar and wind energy production is projected considering short-/long-term climate variations and uncertainties in seven representative cities (Narvik, Gothenburg, Munich, Antwerp, Salzburg, Valencia, and Athens). The results showed that the uncertainty caused by GCMs has the most substantial impact on projecting renewable energy generation. The variations due to GCM selection can become even larger than long-term climate change variations over time. Climate change uncertainties lead to over 23% and 45% projection differences for solar PV and wind energy potential, respectively. While the signal of climate change in solar radiation is weak between scenarios and over time, wind energy generation is affected by 25%.

Wind energy

Climate uncertainties

Solar energy

Climate change

Future climate data

Author

Yuchen Yang

Lund University

Kavan Javanroodi

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

Vahid Nik

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Lund University

Energies

1996-1073 (ISSN)

Vol. 15 1 302

Subject Categories

Energy Systems

Climate Research

DOI

10.3390/en15010302

More information

Latest update

1/10/2022