Researchers Say Wind Enough to Satisfy World Power Demands

News Release
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Photo courtesy of Stanford University

Researchers used a sophisticated climate model to show wind can meet many times the world's total power demand by 2030.

If the world is to shift to clean energy, electricty generated by the wind will play a major role – and there is more than enough wind for that, according to new research from Stanford and the University of Delaware.

Researchers at Stanford University's School of Engineering and the University of Delaware developed the most sophisticated weather model available to show that not only is there plenty of wind over land and near to shore to provide half the world's power, but there is enough to exceed the total demand by several times, even after accounting for reductions in wind speed caused by turbines.

'The careful siting of wind farms will minimize costs and the overall impacts of a global wind infrastructure on the environment,' said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. 'But, as these results suggest, the saturation of wind power availability will not limit a clean-energy economy.'

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by 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.


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