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Enough Wind to Power Global Energy Demand: New Research Examines Limits, Climate Consequences

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2012) — There is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world’s demand. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and faster high-altitude winds into energy could generate even more power than ground- and ocean-based units. New research from Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira examines the limits of the amount of power that could be harvested from winds, as well as the effects high-altitude wind power could have on the climate as a whole.

There is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world’s demand, according to new research. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and faster high-altitude winds into energy could generate even more power than ground- and ocean-based units. (Credit: © Thorsten Schier / Fotolia)
 

Their work is published September 9 by Nature Climate Change.

Led by Kate Marvel of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who began this research at Carnegie, the team used models to quantify the amount of power that could be generated from both surface and atmospheric winds. Surface winds were defined as those that can be accessed by turbines supported by towers on land or rising out of the sea. High-altitude winds were defined as those that can be accessed by technology merging turbines and kites. The study looked only at the geophysical limitations of these techniques, not technical or economic factors.

Read  more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120909150446.htm