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Hourly historical and near-future weather and climate variables for energy system modelling

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hannah BloomfieldORCiD, Dr Matthew Deakin, Dr David Greenwood



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Energy systems are becoming increasingly exposed to the impacts of weather and climate due to the uptake of renewable generation and the electrification of the heat and transport sectors. The need for high-quality meteorological data to manage present and near-future risks is urgent. This paper provides a comprehensive set of multi-decadal, time series of hourly meteorological variables and weather-dependent power system components for use in the energy systems modelling community. Despite the growing interest in the impacts of climate variability and climate change on energy systems over the last decade, it remains rare for multi-decadal simulations of meteorological data to be used within detailed simulations. This is partly due to computational constraints, but also due to technical barriers limiting the use of meteorological data by non-specialists. This paper presents a new European-level dataset which can be used to investigate the impacts of climate variability and climate change on multiple aspects of near-future energy systems. The datasets correspond to a suite of well-documented, easy-to-use, self-consistent, hourly- and nationally aggregated, and sub-national time series for 2 m temperature, 10 m wind speed, 100 m wind speed, surface solar irradiance, wind power capacity factor, solar power factor, and degree days spanning over 30 European countries. This dataset is available for the historical period 1950–2020 and is accessible from (Bloomfield and Brayshaw, 2021a).As well as this a companion dataset is created where the ERA5 reanalysis is adjusted to represent the impacts of near-term climate change (centred on the year 2035) based on five high-resolution climate model simulations. These data are available for a 70-year period for central and northern Europe. The data are accessible from (Bloomfield and Brayshaw, 2021b).To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time a comprehensive set of high-quality hourly time series relating to future climate projections has been published, which is specifically designed to support the energy sector. The purpose of this paper is to detail the methods required for processing the climate model data and illustrate the importance of accounting for climate variability and climate change within energy system modelling from the sub-national to European scale. While this study is therefore not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of climate impacts, it is hoped that publishing these data will promote greater use of climate data within energy system modelling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bloomfield HC, Brayshaw DJ, Deakin M, Greenwood D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Earth System Science Data

Year: 2022

Volume: 14

Issue: 6

Pages: 2749-2766

Print publication date: 15/02/2022

Acceptance date: 15/02/2022

Date deposited: 21/02/2024

ISSN (print): 1866-3508

ISSN (electronic): 1866-3516

Publisher: Coppernicus


DOI: 10.5194/essd-14-2749-2022


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 824084.
the CLimate-Energy modelling for Assessing Resilience: HEAt De-carbonisation and the Northwest European Supergrid (CLEARHEADS) project