Brits beat the French in war of the winds
The British Isles experienced a moderate boost in windy conditions in 2011, according to the Met Office's new index.
Released in a bid to address the concerns raised by the wind industry on the low wind levels experienced throughout Europe in the last few years, the Wind Review's wind index (link) shows that the windiest locations in 2011 were Iceland, the Baltic and Denmark.
The British Isles saw a slight increase in wind by 3% in 2011 compared to the long term average, whereas France experienced a decrease of 5%.
Last year, the EU wind energy sector installed 11.6 gigawatts of capacity, representing 26% of all new European power capacity installed in 2012. This brings Europe's total wind power capacity to 105.6 gigawatts, meeting 7% of Europe's electricity demand, which was an increase of 0.7% from 2011.
The Met Office believes that it is critical to the calculation of a site's long-term power yield projection that periods of sustained lower and higher wind are taken into account.
As well as the wind index, the Met Office has also detailed five site specific graphs that show the average wind speeds for certain sites, located within the wind index regions.
The graphs, produced using the Met Office's site specific wind analysis tool, Virtual Met Mast, compare the monthly average wind speeds during 2012 against the long-term average.