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July 3, 2024
3 min read time

Utilising Youwind for Enhanced Offshore Wind Energy: The Power of Wave Data

The development of the wind energy industry faces several challenges, one of the most critical being the accurate quantitative portrayal and forecast of wind fields. Coastal structures and environments are significantly impacted by wave activity, which influences sediment transport, coastal erosion, and other coastal hazards. Particularly, extreme waves are crucial in affecting coastal infrastructure and the environment. Changes in the characteristics of extreme and mean waves are notable and are often associated with the increased frequency of extreme events. 

To address these challenges, Youwind integrates ERA5 Reanalysis data into the platform. ERA5 is the fifth-generation global atmospheric reanalysis produced by the ECMWF, offering data from 1940 to the present with a temporal resolution of 1 hour, a horizontal resolution of 0.25º, and 137 vertical levels. Our platform leverages ERA5's wind speeds, wind directions, wave heights, and wave periods, enabling comprehensive seasonal assessments, evaluations of extreme conditions, and reliable risk analyses. 



ERA5 monthly averages 2014-2023. Source: Youwind platform


However, working with hourly time-series data from ERA5 presents several challenges. The sheer volume of data is substantial, the spatial resolution for waves (0.5º horizontal) is often insufficient for precise calculations, and the complex orography of the oceans can reduce the accuracy of wind parameters. 


Why does Youwind offer these datasets despite the challenges?

ERA5 data is a valuable input for more accurate calculations when applied to additional numerical models tailored for coastal regions. Numerous studies have demonstrated that, although ERA5 wave data may be underestimated, the seasonal trends and wave behaviours are significantly correlated. This correlation ensures that the wave data provided by Youwind is a reliable resource for identifying suitable locations for offshore wind parks. 

Wave Height Averages 2014-2023. Source: Youwind platform



By integrating and enhancing ERA5 data, Youwind supports its users in making informed decisions, optimising site selection, and ensuring the sustainability and efficiency of offshore wind energy projects. 



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