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Energy's Answer is Blowing in the Wind September 14, 2012
Wind Turbines
Wind turbines could generate far more energy than humans currently use, according to a study.
The Earth provides enough wind energy to power all of the planet’s electricity needs for years to come, according to a new study by U.S. researchers.

A team from Stanford University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California used a computer model to show the maximum amount of power that could be produced by the winds.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers say they found that up to 2,200 terawatts of power could be generated by turbines at the surface and aloft, which is more than 100 times the current global power consumption.

They say that by spreading out the turbines, rather than clustering them in a few regions, they could extract wind energy with little effect on the overall climate.

At the current level of global energy demand, wind turbines might affect surface temperatures by about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit and affect precipitation by about 1 percent, the report concludes.

But researcher Kate Marvel points out: “The future of wind energy is likely to be determined by economic, political and technical constraints rather than geophysical limits.”

Photo: File