Exploring wind energy potential off the California coast
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 20, October 2008
How to Cite
2008), Exploring wind energy potential off the California coast, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20819, doi:10.1029/2008GL034674., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JUL 2008
- Manuscript Received: 13 MAY 2008
- wind energy;
- expansion fan;
- California coast
 Wind energy represents the nearest term cost-effective renewable energy source. While efforts have been made to assess wind energy potential over land around the world, offshore wind energy resources are largely unexplored, in part because these regions have relatively sparse wind observations. In this study, the wind energy potential offshore of the California coast is evaluated using a well-tested high-resolution numerical model dataset. We found that along the coastline, the low-level winds exhibit strong spatial variation and are characterized by alternating windspeed maxima and minima near coastal promontories associated with the interaction between the marine boundary layer and coastal topography. Further analysis highlights the enormous and reliable wind energy development potential in these persistent offshore windspeed maxima.