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Factors affecting the calculation of wind power potentials: A case study of China

: Franke, Katja; Sensfuß, Frank; Deac, Gerda; Kleinschmitt, Christoph; Ragwitz, Mario


Renewable & sustainable energy reviews 149 (2021), Art. 111351, 13 S.
ISSN: 1364-0321
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Fraunhofer IEG ()
wind power; potential; China; sensitivity analysis; model-based; impact factor

In order to mitigate global climate change and air pollution, the Chinese government has assigned high priority to expanding low-carbon power generation in China. Recent studies have shown that wind power is one of the most promising renewable energy option in China. Although many studies have estimated the generation potential of onshore wind power, their results vary widely from 1783 TWh to 39,000 TWh. Therefore, we examine the different assumptions in these papers and identify three main factors influencing the results. The three influencing factors are: weather data set, land utilisation factor, and wind turbine configuration. For our model-based analysis, we define a reference scenario which is used to compare the results. Our analysis shows using a different weather data set increases the generation potential to roughly 35,000 TWh. This is 54% higher than the generation potential of the reference scenario. The land utilisation factor also has a large influence, ranging between −10% and −51%. The studies' assumptions and data should be subjected to careful scrutiny, as the calculated wind power potentials are widely used to develop decarbonisation strategies for the energy system.