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Figure I.2.1 shows the onshore wind energy resource, as computed on a broad scale for the European Wind Atlas. The map shows different wind speed regions. The wind speeds at a 50 m height above ground level within the regions identified may be estimated for different topographic conditions using the table below the figure.
The wind speed above which commercial exploitation can take place varies according to the specific market conditions. While countries such as Scotland clearly have exceptional potential, with rising fuel prices and consequently increasing power prices, every European country has a substantial technically and economically exploitable wind resource.
Figure I.2.1: European Wind Atlas, Onshore
Source: Risø National Laboratory, Denmark, see Appendix A for colour version
The European Wind Atlas employs meteorological data from a selection of monitoring stations, and shows the distribution of wind speeds on a broad scale. It has been used extensively by developers and governments in estimating the size of the resource and regional variations. It is possible to map wind speeds at a higher resolution, using, for instance, more detailed topographical data and a larger sample size of meteorological data, in order to show more local variations in wind speed. This can be used by developers looking for sites in a particular country.
There are many examples of national, regional and local wind atlases, for Europe and the rest of the world, but they are far too numerous to list here. When investigating a particular region or country regarding its development potential, one of the first questions is always 'Is there a wind atlas for this area?'
A review of national wind atlases for European countries has been undertaken for this edition of “Wind Energy – The Facts,” the results of which are shown in Table I.2.1. Where obtained and permission granted, map reproductions are contained in Appendix A. The European Wind Atlas resulted in the development of a wind-mapping tool called WAsP, and this is used widely for both broad-scale wind mapping and more site-specific applications.
Table I.2.1 distinguishes between the use of WAsP and 'other' wind mapping methods.
Table I.2.1: Wind Atlases, Europe
Country Coverage in the
European Wind Atlas
Other model EU-27 Austria  Belgium Bulgaria  Cyprus Czech Republic  Denmark   Estonia 
[16, 17 ]
Finland  France Germany Greece  Hungary   Ireland   Italy [9, 10] Latvia   Lithuania  Luxembourg Malta The Netherlands Poland  Portugal Romania  Slovakia  Slovenia  Spain Sweden  UK  Others Turkey  Armenia  Croatia  Georgia
Norway  Russia  Switzerland 
Source, Mortensen, N., G., Heathfield, N., H., Myllerup,L., Landberg, L., Rathmann, O.: Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program: WAsP 9 Help Facility
Sources for 1-26, see references
Wind atlases for offshore are covered in Chapter 5: Offshore.
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