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Wind Energy Assessment during High Impact Winter Storms in the Iberian Peninsula
* 1, 2 , 2, 3 , 1
1  Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), CIM-UVigo, Universidade de Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain.
2  Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.
3  Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal.


Electricity production through renewable energy sources, such as wind energy, is dependent of the variability of weather conditions. Thus, this work aims to assess the wind resource available and the wind energy potential during recent December months (the three years 2017, 2018, 2019). These winters were characterized by the occurrence of high impact storms. To understand the effect of the strong winds associated with the passage of the storms during these months, 10m wind components (10-meter U and V wind components) are used. The fields were extracted at 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC ( 6-hourly data), for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 December months over a geographical sector that covers the Iberian Peninsula (IP) region (35°N–45°N;10°W–4°E) and compared to climatological values for the 1981-2010 period. The obtained results show an increase of wind intensity of up to 1.5 m.s-1 in IP during December 2017 and 2019, and a decrease of 1.5m.s-1 in December 2018, when compared with the respective climatology for the 1981-2010 period. This increase corresponds to an increase in the corresponding wind energy potential. Therefore, our results agree with the values of the wind energy produced during the analyzed months for the two countries, Portugal and Spain. Finally, it is notably that the highest values of wind energy production occurred on the days of the storms passage through the IP.

Keywords: renewable energy; wind energy; extreme events; high impact storms; Iberian Peninsula