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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014, Article ID 897246, 11 pages
Research Article

Dynamical Downscaling of Climate Change Impacts on Wind Energy Resources in the Contiguous United States by Using a Limited-Area Model with Scale-Selective Data Assimilation

Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS), North Carolina State University (NCSU), Campus Box 8208, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Received 18 May 2014; Revised 28 July 2014; Accepted 4 August 2014; Published 22 September 2014

Academic Editor: Adel Hanna

Copyright © 2014 Bin Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


By using a limited-area model (LAM) in combination with the scale-selective data assimilation (SSDA) approach, wind energy resources in the contiguous United States (CONUS) were downscaled from IPCC CCSM3 global model projections for both current and future climate conditions. An assessment of climate change impacts on wind energy resources in the CONUS region was then conducted. Based on the downscaling results, when projecting into future climate under IPCC’s A1B scenario, the average annual wind speed experiences an overall shift across the CONUS region. From the current climate to the 2040s, the average annual wind speed is expected to increase from 0.1 to 0.2 m s−1 over the Great Plains, Northern Great Lakes Region, and Southwestern United States located southwest of the Rocky Mountains. When projecting into the 2090s from current climate, there is an overall increase in the Great Plains Region and Southwestern United States located southwest of the Rockies with a mean wind speed increase between 0 and 0.1 m s−1, while, the Northern Great Lakes Region experiences an even greater increase from current climate to 2090s than over the first few decades with an increase of mean wind speed from 0.1 to 0.4 m s−1.