Breezy future for Australian wind

The long-term viability of wind energy generation in Australia looks more certain with new data from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) showing an increase in atmospheric wind speeds over the past 20 years.

CSIRO researchers found that from 1989, while wind speeds measured at a height of 2 metres above the ground declined by 0.36 percent per year, speeds measured above 10 metres increased by 0.69 per cent per year.

The new data provide a good picture of wind energy availability across Australia, according to Albert Troccoli of CSIRO, and lead author of a paper on the findings published in the Journal of Climate.

“The growth of wind farms means there is an emerging need to understand the wind resource,” he said.

“Wind power production is expected to increase greatly over the coming years and the associated electricity system will be subject to variations of several hundred megawatts, depending on wind availability.”

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