Wind farm (credit: Jan Oelker/Repower))
Researchers at Stanford University’s School of Engineering and the University of Delaware have used what they call the “most sophisticated weather model available” to meet many times the world’s total power demand by 2030 — in fact, enough to exceed the total demand by several times, even after accounting for reductions in wind speed caused by turbines.
In related news today, Lawrence Livermore and Carnegie Institute researchers have found that providing such power would not affect global climate.
In their study, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and Cristina Archer, an associate professor of geography and physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware, adapted the three-dimensional, atmosphere-ocean-land computer model. known as GATOR-GCMOM. to calculate the theoretical maximum wind power potential on the planet, taking into account wind reduction by turbines.
Their model assumed wind turbines could be installed anywhere and everywhere, without regard to societal, environmental, climatic or economic considerations.
The new paper contradicts two earlier studies that said wind potential falls far short of the aggressive goal because each turbine steals too much wind energy from other turbines, and that turbines introduce harmful climate consequences that would negate some of the positive aspects of renewable wind energy.