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Areas potentially suitable for wind energy applications are dispersed throughout all the countries of the European Communities. Major areas that have a high wind energy resource include Great Britain, Ireland and the northwestern continental parts of the EC, i.e. Denmark, northern Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and northwestern France. Other areas are northwestern Spain and the majority of the Greek islands. In addition, there are many areas in the Mediterranean countries, where wind systems associated with mountain barriers give rise to high energy potentials. Some of these wind systems extend over large areas: the Mistral between the Alps and the Massif Central in the south of France, the Tramontana north of the Pyrenées in France and south of the Pyrenées in the Ebro valley. In other cases such wind systems extend over smaller geographical areas but may nevertheless give a large wind resource locally. Of particular interest are sites in mountain valleys and passes, where natural concentrations of the wind occur. The European Wind Atlas provides a reliable picture of the overall and general distribution of the wind resources in Europe. The methods developed for the Atlas for calculating the influence of topography on the wind speed have documented the strong enhancement of the wind energy potential that can be found in complex terrain.

Additional information

Authors: TROEN I, Risoe National Laboratory, Roskilde (DK);LUNDTANG PETERSEN E, Risoe National Laboratory, Roskilde (DK)
Bibliographic Reference: EN (1989) 656 pp.
Availability: Department of Meteorology and Wind Energy, Risoe National Laboratory, P.O. Box 49, Roskilde (DK)
ISBN: ISBN 87-550-1482-8
Record Number: 199010398 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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