Towards a global dynamic wind atlas: A multi-country validation of wind power simulation from MERRA-2 and ERA-5 reanalyses bias-corrected with the Global Wind Atlas

by   Katharina Gruber, et al.

Reanalysis data are widely used for simulating renewable energy and in particular wind power generation. While MERRA-2 has been a de-facto standard in many studies, the newer ERA5- reanalysis recently gained importance. Here, we use these two datasets to simulate wind power generation and evaluate the respective quality in terms of correlations and errors when validated against historical wind power generation. However, due to their coarse spatial resolution, reanalyses fail to adequately represent local climatic conditions. We therefore additionally apply mean bias correction with two versions of the Global Wind Atlas (GWA) and assess the respective quality of resulting simulations. Potential users of the dataset can also benefit from our analysis of the impact of spatial and temporal aggregation on simulation quality indicators. While similar studies have been conducted, they mainly cover limited areas in Europe. In contrast, we look into regions, which globally differ significantly in terms of the prevailing climate: the US, Brazil, South-Africa, and New Zealand. Our principal findings are that (i) ERA5 outperforms MERRA-2, (ii) no major improvements can be expected by using bias-correction with GWA2, while GWA3 even reduces simulation quality, and (iii) temporal aggregation increases correlations and reduces errors, while spatial aggregation does so only consistently when comparing very low and very high aggregation levels.


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