Is 2014 PV/Wind data comparable to other years?

Hi there,

I use hourly data (Merra 2) to calculate cost for renewable electricity production for a chemical process. I started to use 2014 data and it would be great just to give an estimate what would happend if I chose another year instead, e.g. 2015 data.

It would be good enough (for the beginning) to know for certain locations if 2014 was a “regular weather year” with more or less mean wind and solar conditions or if it was extraordinary. Is there maybe some kind of publication out there comparing the weather of different years in terms of wind speeds and solar irradiation for different years?

I know that I can select also different year in, but the effort to make all calculations for many years would be high.

Best wishes

Hi Sebastian,

Stefan and I have just submitted a paper with some Irish colleagues which looks exactly at this! Give us a few months for the wheels of academia to grind and we will hopefully have an ideal source of info for you…

In the meantime, I did a quick analysis based on the European data we published in [1] and [2]. For wind power in European country-level aggregates, you can expect the capacity factor in any given year to differ by 6.7+/-1.5% from the long-term mean. That is in relative terms (i.e. if your CF is 30% in 2014, the long-run average may be 28-32%).

Solar power is much less variable, any given year should differ by 2.8+/-0.6% from the long-run average.

Just to be explicit, I calculated the coefficient of variation (stdev/mean) for each country, and the values above give the mean and stdev of this over all countries.

The onto your second point - across the countries of Europe, wind capacity factors in 2014 were 6.2+/-5.4% below the long-run average (only weakly significant), and solar capacity factors in 2014 were 1.6+/-2.9% below (so not really different from zero).

So, your chemicals might be 5ish percent cheaper to produce on an average year compared to in your analysis… If you want to use that in whatever you are writing about this, better that you cite [1] and [2] than some blog post though :slight_smile:

[1] and [2] are listed under references here:

Kind regards,

Dear Iain,

thank you for your fast and profound answer! This are good news and your information will help to argue my results. I am looking forward to read your full paper!

Until then, I will cite your papers as you stated - but they are included already anyway:)

Best wishes