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Atlantic storms bring a windy 2011
The Met Office has revealed which European countries were the windiest during 2011 in a special edition of Wind Review for the wind energy industry.
The 2011 Wind Review (PDF, 1012 kB) shows that northern and particularly northwestern parts of Europe, such as Iceland, the British Isles, Denmark, the Baltic States and Scandinavia, had a very windy year in 2011.
Some countries, including Iceland and the British Isles, were also much windier in 2011 than 2010; with 18% and 16% stronger winds respectively. This contributed to the highest levels of renewable wind energy ever being generated, contributing an average of 5.3% of the UK's demand for electricity in December 2011.
December 2011 was a notably windy month, with some exceptionally stormy periods. These strong winds extended their influence well south across mainland Europe resulting markedly above average readings in both Versailles, France, and Lake Constance, Germany during what was otherwise a relatively calm year.
Southern Europe saw a decrease in winds in 2011 compared to 2010, which was in marked contrast to the more northern European countries. This was due to high pressure dominating the weather conditions in these areas through much of the year.
The Met Office Wind Review uses our site specific wind analysis tool, Virtual Met Mast™, to produce detailed comparisons of monthly average wind speeds compared to long term averages.
Virtual Met Mast™ forms part of a suite of innovative solutions offered by the Met Office, aimed directly at the renewable energy sector. It also includes:
VisualEyes™ - an intuitive, web-based weather alert system designed in conjunction with the industry to help manage wind farm assets.
Wind Production Forecast- a new site specific forecasting service for wind farms and wind energy production, designed to help generators make accurate short-term assessments of power production.
Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655
E-mail: Press Office
Met Office Customer Centre: 0870 900 0100
If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680