The use of met masts to gather wind data is putting wind farm developers and operators at a commercial disadvantage, according to a new report by Vaisala.

The report – ‘Remote Sensing Revolution’ – argues that the adoption of remote sensing technology, such as lidars, has reached a tipping point and industry stakeholders must re-tool wind measurement practices or fall behind.

“Developers and operators that consolidate their use of the technology will realise the commercial benefits of cutting assessment times, reducing development costs, improving asset performance and unlocking a greater understanding of the wind resource,” Vaisala said.

It said that met mast towers are expensive to procure, install and maintain and don’t provide the level of data offered by remote sensing devices.

The report couples Vaisala’s own market analysis with perspectives from wind energy developers, operators, financiers and consultants. They include Actis, DNV GL, Nordex Acciona Windpower, Apex Clean Energy, Eurus Energy, UPC Renewables, Valorem, Innergex and GCube Insurance.

Vaisala director of renewable energy Pascal Storck said: “While published international standards for wind measurement may still lag behind the reality of what is being undertaken on the ground by developers and operators globally, conversations with our contributors make it clear that those who fail to take advantage of state-of-the-art remote sensing technology and expertise will soon find themselves at a significant disadvantage.”

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