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Amount of wind energy 100 times the needs of all humanity


Wind energy on the planet is sufficient to provide the energy requirements of all mankind. In the higher layers of the atmosphere the wind faster and constant, which provides more energy than terrestrial or marine atmospheric turbine? In a new study, Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institute of Science to calculate the total amount of energy that can be produced by the wind, and then what impact wind turbines at high altitude will have on the climate. This work was published on September 9 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The team calculated the amount of energy that can be obtained with the help of surface and atmospheric winds. Surface winds were defined as those that can get turbines, towers propped up on the ground or on the water. Atmospheric – are, respectively the ones that you can get only by combining technologies of turbines and kites. This study evaluated only geophysical constraints, without technical or economic factors.

The turbines create resistance, which reduces the amount of movement of winds and slows them. As the number of wind turbines, the amount withdrawn energy will increase. At some point, the winds will slow down so that the addition of turbines will not affect the amount of electricity generated. This study was conducted to calculate the maximum limit of the collected energy.

With the team they have created models calculated that surface winds can provide 400 terawatts of energy, and atmospheric – more than 1,800 TWh.

Modern civilization consumes about 18 terawatts of energy. Therefore, only the surface winds can provide up to 20 times more energy than the world needs, and the turbine air snakes can potentially collect energy 100 times the current needs.

Wind farm
When the maximum level of energy harvesting wind Earth survive significant climatic consequences. But, as this study demonstrates, the collection of wind energy in an amount not to exceed the current needs of the world, would have little effect on the climate, if the turbine will be evenly distributed and not skuchkovany in several regions. Gathering of energy in the amount of current global needs can change the surface temperature by 0.1 degrees Celsius and rainfall change of 1%. In general, the environmental impact will be negligible.

“This study showed that the limiting factors in the growth of wind energy are economic, technological and political, rather than geophysical” – said Caldeira.