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How Much Can Small-Scale Wind Energy Production Contribute to Energy Supply in Cities? A Case Study of Berlin

Alina Wilke (), Zhiwei Shen () and Matthias Ritter
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Alina Wilke: Department of Macroeconomic Theory and Policy, Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
Zhiwei Shen: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Energies, 2021, vol. 14, issue 17, 1-20

Abstract: In light of the global effort to limit the temperature rise, many cities have undertaken initiatives to become climate-neutral, making decentralized urban energy production more relevant. This paper addresses the potential of urban wind energy production with small wind turbines, using Berlin as an example. A complete framework from data selection to economic feasibility is constructed to enable the empirical assessment of wind energy for individual buildings and Berlin as a whole. Based on a detailed dataset of all buildings and hourly wind speed on a 1 km 2 grid, the results show that multiple turbines on suitable buildings can significantly contribute to households’ energy consumption but fall short of covering the full demand. For individual households, our economic evaluation strongly recommends the self-consumption of the produced electricity. The findings suggest that while the use of small wind turbines should be continuously encouraged, exploring other renewable resources or combination of wind and photovoltaic energy in the urban environment remains important.

Keywords: renewable energy; urban wind energy; energy transition; wind potential assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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