Global CFDDA-based Onshore and Offshore Wind Potential Supply Curves by Country, Class, and Depth (quantities in GW and PWh)

This dataset contains global onshore and offshore wind supply curves based on a resource assessment performed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) based on the National Center for Atmospheric Research's (NCAR) Climate Four Dimensional Data Assimilation (CFDDA) mesoscale climate database. This overview is intended to provide a brief description of the origin of the tables in this workbook, not to fully explain the assumptions and calculations involved. A forthcoming paper will include full detail of sources and assumptions.

The supply curves are defined by country and resource quality. Onshore supply curves are further differentiated by distance to nearest large load or power plant, and offshore by distance to shore and water depth.

The CFDDA database contains hourly wind velocity vectors at a 40km grid, at multiple heights above ground level. For each grid cell, we create hourly wind speed distributions at 90m hub heights, and we compute gross capacity factor through convolution with a representative power curve. Output is derated for outages and wake losses to obtain net capacity factor. Onshore, we assumed a composite IEC Class II turbine; offshore, an IEC Class I turbine. We assumed a wind turbine density of 5 MW/kmĀ². Land and sea area are characterized by country (or country-like object, e.g, Alaska), land use/land cover, elevation, and protection status. Protected, urban, and high-elevation areas are fully excluded, and certain land cover types are fractionally excluded. Offshore, area within 5 nautical miles of or farther than 100 nautical miles from shore are excluded, as are protected marine areas. Marine areas are assigned to country based on exclusive economic zones; unassigned or disputed areas are excluded. As alluded to previously, in this workbook, "United States of America" refers only to the continental U.S. Alaska and Hawaii are counted separately because of their remoteness. Unassigned "countries" comprise relatively remote, unpopulated areas (Alaska, Greenland, remote islands); and disputed marine areas. We recommend that their resource remain unassigned rather than grouped into larger IAM regions.

This product is a set of tables containing GW or PWh of technical wind resource potential, by net capacity factor, binned by distance to load/shore and water depth (for offshore). The power and energy quantities are computed independently, each from individual grid cells, so there is not a direct capacity-factor conversion between the two. We have not made assumptions about social or political pressures beyond the exclusion of protected areas, urban areas, and the land use/land cover exclusions introduced above. We have also tried to stay upstream of questions about the economic viability of wind development: i.e., the supply curves are independent of wind turbine cost. We leave the questions of economics to the models.

At the right of each table are columns of total and available land (or sea) area by country. Available area is area remaining for wind development after all geospatial exclusions are applied.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Maintainer Patrick Sullivan
Bureau Code 019:20
Catalog DOE
Required Software
Sectors Wind

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