Wind farms in Europe and North America are not operating at full capacity, causing a staggering 11,300 GWh of lost energy a year, according to Onyx Insight.
The volume of energy lost could power London for 110 days straight, or New York for 80 days, which is why Onyx is calling on wind farm owners and operators to take steps to safeguard and maximise every megawatt of production, especially as temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere begin to plummet.
Lost energy from wind farms can be caused by a myriad of issues, but it is believed that 80% of all that energy loss comes down to just 10 primary reasons. That could be due to falling temperatures, imbalance or misalignment of parts within the turbine, erosion, or icing.
There are ways to mitigate those issues, however. According to Onyx Insights, by using sophisticated data analytics and looking at both the performance and reliability of a wind turbine, wind farm owners and operators can automate the detection of these common issues enabling necessary remedial steps to be actioned quickly, reducing the amount of energy lost.
“This means running assets to their optimum – maximising production whenever you can – leaving no MW behind,” says Bruce Hall, CEO, ONYX Insight.
“We now need to accept that we must be smarter and make effective fleet-wide changes to wind farms in order to support the realisation of net zero goals, and more immediately, energy shortages.
“The current situation with energy prices and constricted supplies is demonstrating a microcosm of the delicate balancing act we need to strike.
“This is going to happen every year for the coming 10 years and beyond. We need to take steps together to make wind and other renewable energy sources more efficient and resilient now.”