Wind speeds are calculated at 80 m, the hub height of modern, 77-m diameter,
1500 kW turbines. Since relatively few observations are available at 80 m, the
Least Square extrapolation technique is utilized and revised here to obtain estimates
of wind speeds at 80 m given observed wind speeds at 10 m (widely available) and
a network of sounding stations.
Tower data from the Kennedy Space Center
(Florida) were used to validate the results. Globally, ~13% of all reporting stations
experience annual mean wind speeds ≥ 6.9 m/s at 80 m (i.e., wind power class
3 or greater) and can therefore be considered suitable for low-cost wind power
generation. This estimate is believed to be conservative.
Areas with great
potential are found on the island of Tasmania in Australia.