COCONET PRESS RELEASE
Wind Information for Offshore Wind Farm in the Mediterranean Sea
Securing environmentally-friendly energy is one of the most important issues in today's world. Offshore wind farms (OWF) have high potential to provide such energy, thus they have been widely developed in the northern European seas. In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, however, there is no OWF so far. The CoCoNet project aims to develop strategies to establish such OWF in these seas while taking into consideration of networking marine protected areas at the same time.
The long-term analysis of winds for extended areas as the Mediterranean Sea has many difficulties. The CoCoNet team has been, however, currently challenging this task, analyzing wind data for the period 1979-2011.
There are some important wind systems in the Mediterranean Sea, namely the Bora, Mistral and Etesians. Bora is a north-easterly wind blowing from the Dinaric Alps towards the Adriatic Sea during winter. Mistral is a local wind in France with north north-western direction. It blows from the Rhone Valley to the Gulf of Lions with no clear seasonality. Etesians are local seasonal winds in the Aegean Sea, blowing from north during May to October, especially from June to August.
In general, the windiest areas of the Mediterranean Sea are the Gulf of Lions, the Aegean Sea (extending from the Canakkale Strait to Crete Island) and the straits between Sicily, Sardinia, and northern Africa. The same areas exhibit the largest annual fluctuations.
Seasonally, the windiest month is December in the Mediterranean Sea, followed by February. The lowest wind intensities occur, in the mean, during August and then during September, June and July.
Regarding the long-term wind speed trend, the increasing trend appears in the central Mediterranean Sea and specifically in the area between the western coast of Greece and the eastern coasts of Italy and Sicily. Other areas of increasing trend are the straits between Corsica and Italy, the northern coasts of Algeria and the area between Crete Island and the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt. The areas with the decreasing trend are the eastern of the Gulf of Lions (offshore coasts of Monaco) and the central Aegean Sea.
It is evident that areas with high wind intensities and low variability are the most favorable for OWF development. The results of the wind data analysis made by CoCoNet will help such development in the future.
(Information provided by Takvor Soukissian, Evangelos Voukouvalas of HCMR)