Ohlendorf, N., Schill, W-P.

Frequency and duration of low-wind-power events in Germany

in Environmental Research Letters, 11.05.2020

Peer Review , Climate and Development

In the transition to a renewable energy system, the occurrence of low-wind-power events receives increasing attention. We analyze the frequency and duration of such events for onshore wind power in Germany, based on 40 years of reanalysis data and open software. We find that low-wind-power events are less frequent in winter than in summer, but the maximum duration is distributed more evenly between months. While short events are frequent, very long events are much rarer. Every year, a period of around five consecutive days with an average wind capacity factor below 10% occurs, and every ten years a respective period of nearly eight days. These durations decrease if only winter months are considered. The longest event in the data lasts nearly ten days. We conclude that public concerns about low-wind-power events in winter may be overrated, but recommend that modeling studies consider multiple weather years to properly account for such events.