Given that we’re (collectively) putting many of our eggs into the Solar + Wind baskets in this energy transition process, it’s seemed to me to be critically important to understand how these resources might be affected by the climate change this energy transition is seeking to address.
Unfortunately (from my position – i.e. sitting on the outside looking in), I’d not seen too much in the way of research into this type of question. So it’s worthwhile flagging one study I saw posted about yesterday.
(A) How wind harvest patterns might change?
When we completed the modelling contained within Appendix 27 within GenInsights21 (for a hypothetical Wind + Storage powered grid) we utilised 16 years of wind profile traces for BOM measurement points spanning the country.
In that appendix, we raised the question about how wind harvest patterns might change (i.e. the extent to which past performance might no longer be so useful in predicting future performance) … but we did not have any real way of assessing that.
Last year, I did notice a similar question asked by Joel Gilmore, Tim Nelson and Tahlia Nolan in this Griffith University Paper.
(B) How solar harvest patterns might change?
We’d not really done anything to try to understand what might happen with solar harvest patterns (most obviously because cloud cover patterns might change – but also because of the possibility of increased bushfire smoke levels during ‘summer’ periods in the climate changed world – noting that we’ve already experienced how they can affect solar output).
So it was with keen interest that I noted this update by Shukla Poddar on LinkedIn yesterday:
The update leads through to this paper ‘Changes in solar resource intermittency and reliability under Australia’s future warmer climate’ by Shukla Poddar and other authors that is (currently at least) freely accessible from this site:
I’ve not had time to read it yet, but also note, as I type this article, that there’s also helpfully an article ‘Climate change will affect solar power and grid stability across Australia – here’s how’ about this report on the Conversation:
Shukla wrote on LinkedIn above:
‘We find that Eastern part of Australia – a home to majority of the solar farms (both existing and under construction), shall experience a decrease in intermittency in the future : suggesting more stable and reliable power supply in these regions.’
Remembering that ‘one swallow does not make a summer’ (and that there’s more detail in the Research Paper and the article in the Conversation), this study suggests some promise for the future.