Applied Energy, Vol.185, 1087-1099, 2017
Site assessment, turbine selection, and local feed-in tariffs through the wind energy index
Since wind energy is rapidly growing, new wind farms are installed worldwide and a discussion is going on concerning the optimal political framework to promote this development. In this paper, we present a wind energy index, which is supportive for wind farm planners, operators, and policy-makers. Based on long-term and low-scale reanalysis wind speed data from MERRA and true production data, it can predict the expected wind energy production for every location and turbine type. After an in-sample and out-of sample evaluation of the index performance, it is applied to assess the wind energy potential of locations in Germany, to compare different turbine types, and to derive the required compensation in terms of locally different feed-in tariffs. We show that in many parts of South Germany, profitability of new wind farms cannot be achieved given the current legal situation. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.