By Rachel Duggan
The BrightWind Wind Map shows that annual wind speeds in 2022 reflect the long-term average across the island of Ireland.
- The wind speed last year was within 0.5% of the long-term mean.
- The wind speed frequency distribution from year-to-year was less consistent than normal.
- The lowest relative wind speeds were in the south of the country, increasing towards the north-west.
- Taking Galway as an example, the energy output for 2022 was up 3.1% on the long-term due to the difference in frequency distribution.
Continue reading for a more detailed comparison across 5 Irish regions.
Ireland as a whole
The BrightWind Wind Map shows the windiness, or wind index, of 2022. It compares the short-term mean wind speed by normalising it against a long-term period (2000-2021). Looking at Ireland as a whole, last year was pretty on par with the mean wind speed being 99.6% of the long-term mean. This is a recovery from 2021’s low.
Windiness by region
When comparing 5 areas (Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Galway, and Kerry) there are some variations between the locations but the general trend is the same.
- A weak January counteracts unusually high wind speeds in February.
- Spring saw fluctuations in wind speeds which reduced to lows in August and September.
- The highs of October and November contradicted a low December.
- Resulting in near-typical wind speeds, on average, by the end of the year.
The trend for Galway is shown as an example here, but you can view trend for all 5 sites at the end of the article.
Although the mean wind speed last year was similar to the long-term, this was not the case for the frequency distribution, as shown below. Looking at Galway, the production in 2022 was 3.1 % above the long-term mean when put through a typical power curve (the SWT-2.3-101 in this case).
Below are the wind indices, for the 5 locations, on a monthly basis and adjusting for seasonal effects. So, how have your assets performed in the context of 2022’s wind speeds? Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help you find out.