By Jason Hopkins
December 28, 2018
Wind energy resources have been in sharp decline in regions all across the world, according to a study conducted by Chinese researchers.
After analyzing data from more than 1,000 weather stations around the world, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that 67 percent had witnessed an extensive decrease in wind power potential over the course of nearly 40 years. The team — which also induced a researcher from Purdue University — reached their findings after examining the changes of wind surface speeds from 1979 to 2016.
“The results show that surface wind speeds were decreasing in the past four decades over most regions in the Northern Hemisphere,” the study’s authors wrote, according to a Greentech Media report on Wednesday.
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Around 30 percent of locations in North America have witnessed a 30 percent drop or more in available hub-height wind power. Sites in Europe were worse, where about 40 percent experienced a similar decline. However, the effect was the most significant in Asia, where around 80 percent of sites on the continent saw a 30 percent drop in wind.
It’s not immediately clear what is behind the decline of wind across the Northern Hemisphere. Dr. Gang Huang, a corresponding author of the research, revealed to Greentech Media that they are currently performing a follow-up study to help determine possible causes.
Huang surmised that surface cover changes — such as the fast expansion of cities in developing countries — could possibly be affecting wind speeds, but maintained that it’s just an…