07 Feb 2022
07 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Research challenges and needs for the deployment of wind energy in atmospherically complex locations

Andrew Clifton1,, Sarah Barber2,, Alexander Stökl3, Helmut Frank4, and Timo Karlsson5 Andrew Clifton et al.
  • 1Stuttgart Wind Energy, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Oberseestrasse 10, CH-8640 Rapperswil, Switzerland
  • 3Energiewerkstatt e.V., Heiligenstatt 24, A-5211 Friedburg, Austria
  • 4Deutscher Wetterdienst, FE13, Frankfurter Str. 135, 63067 Offenbach, Germany
  • 5Tekniikantie 21 Espoo, P.O. Box 1000, 02044 VTT, Finland
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. The continuing transition to renewable energy will require more wind turbines to be installed and operated in many new locations on land as well as offshore. The need to have geographic diversity, as well as limited availability of land in historically "good" locations for wind energy, means that wind turbines will also need to be deployed in hilly or mountainous regions, often known as "complex terrain". These areas can also experience challenging weather and climate conditions and may experience instrument- and blade icing that can further impact their operation. This paper – a collaboration between several IEA Wind Tasks and research groups based in mountainous countries – sets out the research and development needed to improve the financial competitiveness and ease of integration of wind energy in hilly or mountainous regions and in regions subject to icing. The focus of the paper is on the interaction between the atmosphere, terrain, land cover, and wind turbines, and covers all stages of a project lifecycle. The key needs include collaborative research and development facilities, improved wind and weather models that can cope with mountainous terrain, frameworks for sharing data and a common, quantitative definition of site complexity.

Andrew Clifton et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2022-11', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2022-11', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Apr 2022

Andrew Clifton et al.

Andrew Clifton et al.


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Short summary
The transition to low carbon sources of energy means that wind turbines will need to be built in hilly or mountainous regions or in places affected by icing. These locations are often called "complex" and have historically been challenging to develop. This paper sets out the R&D needed to make it easier and cheaper to harness wind energy there. This includes collaborative R&D facilities, improved wind and weather models, frameworks for sharing data and a clear definition of site complexity.