Wind = Global Energy Source, According to Research
Reduced power output is perhaps one of the most common criticisms of wind and solar energy. You usually need to build more turbines, and more solar panels are needed just to catch up with the energy output of non-renewable sources. More resources, more land, which means that it could be troublesome to manage all of the available land if we did begin replacing non-renewable sources such as coal-fired power plants with wind and solar farms.
However, new research has purported that this is not necessarily true. In fact, this new research is even pointing to the possibility that wind power alone may already be capable of providing energy to the entire world.
The main heading (not the main issue) of the research was that the calculation of the potential energy output of global wind power equated to the worlds current energy needs. According to what has been published in a report by the Nature Climate Change, the kinetic energy of low altitude winds alone could already provide around 400 terawatts of power. If we where to tap high altitude winds, we could potentially harness another 1800 terawatts. The current global energy demand was stated by the research to be just around 18 terawatts therefore in terms of numbers alone, wind is statistically more than a viable source that could end the need for other energy sources.
Of course, beyond simply crunching numbers, their research included various other calculations and simulations that address other elements that may affect the actual efficiency of a global wind energy plan. The first and most important issue was the possibility of climate change and that question of whether or not wind becomes the standard global energy source. As what I have already discussed briefly before, sufficiently large disturbances in global wind flow can create certain negative meteorological consequences. The effects could range from short unnatural rains and droughts, to permanent alterations in ambient atmospheric temperature of certain areas (leading to irregular weather patterns).
What about the issue on usable land area you say? Well, the emphasis on climate change clearly pointed out that the research wanted to show that the actual issue facing wind energy is not the available “farm” area. There are other important factors that need to be monitored on an actual global wind project. In the summary of the report, it was said that “it is likely that wind power growth will be limited by economic or environmental factors, not global geophysical limits”. Indeed, the issue of available land area is simply an issue that concerns us humans (and our economy). The environmental factors are something that could affect all wildlife and the planet as a whole.
For those of you who want to see the actual statistics, as well as the graphs and data that was presented in the research, you can visit the complete report here.
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