Wind speeds better than expected inland

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The wind resource is better in inland Sweden than previously believed according to a detailed study released by the Swedish Energy Authority (SEA) last month. The study could speed up land allocation for wind power development. "It's important and surprising," says Claes Pile from the country's sustainability ministry, which has responsibility for jump-starting wind development. "While we've assumed that the wind is on the mountains or at the coast, where it's also more controversial to site plants, now it seems the average wind speeds are better than expected inland." Researcher Hans Bergstrom at Uppsala University used a modelling technique called boundary layering to plot Sweden's wind resources to a one kilometre scale. Previous wind modelling in the country used a five kilometre scale. "In Sweden more spots in inland forested areas showed more wind resources," Bergstrom says. "Developers, such as Vindkompaniet, that have been working in these areas for many years are finding several new sites that are interesting based on this work." SEA says the data from Bergstrom's updated models is being distributed to Sweden's municipalities to be incorporated into their own planning maps.

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