With the large-scale development of wind energy, wind power forecasting plays a key role in power dispatching in the electric power grid, as well as in the operation and maintenance of wind farms. The most important technology for wind power forecasting is forecasting wind speed. The current mainstream methods for wind speed forecasting involve the combination of mesoscale numerical meteorological models with a post-processing system. Our work uses the WRF model to obtain the numerical weather forecast and the gradient boosting decision tree (GBDT) algorithm to improve the near-surface wind speed post-processing results of the numerical weather model. We calculate the feature importance of GBDT in order to find out which feature most affects the post-processing wind speed results. The results show that, after using about 300 features at different height and pressure layers, the GBDT algorithm can output more accurate wind speed forecasts than the original WRF results and other post-processing models like decision tree regression (DTR) and multi-layer perceptron regression (MLPR). Using GBDT, the root mean square error (RMSE) of wind speed can be reduced from 2.7–3.5 m/s in the original WRF result by 1–1.5 m/s, which is better than DTR and MLPR. While the index of agreement (IA) can be improved by 0.10–0.20, correlation coefficient be improved by 0.10–0.18, Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NSE) be improved by −0.06–0.6. It also can be found that the feature which most affects the GBDT results is the near-surface wind speed. Other variables, such as forecast month, forecast time, and temperature, also affect the GBDT results.
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