The atmospheric environment is potentially an infinite and sustainable source of energy for human needs. The Sun is not only provided with much more energy than needed to meet the energy demand on Earth, it also controls the energy budget of the Earth and contributes to the generation of the wind systems at global scale. Solar radiation and winds are the fuel for solar and wind energy on Earth. The goal of this chapter is to introduce the basic knowledge on atmospheric physics and dynamics at small and intermediate scale in order to quantify wind and solar potential at some specific location or region. Independently of the technology and its efficiency, the chapter addresses issues such as the availability, variability and predictability of the energetic resource of a given environment. These issues are of high importance regarding the present environmental and socio-economical context.


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