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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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Wind Energy Could Meet Global Power Demand 100 Times Over

A new study by the Carnegie Institute and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has discovered that wind power could easily meet the entire planets energy needs.

They study determined to find the geophysical limits of wind power, how much is physically possible before the turbines use up all wind energy in the world. They used computer models to calculate the amount of power that could be generated by wind energy at low altitude (land-based, and offshore turbines) and high altitude (upper atmosphere turbines using kite technology), and also the potential impacts on the climate.

“Turbines create drag, or resistance, which removes momentum from the winds and tends to slow them. As the number of wind turbines increase, the amount of energy that is extracted increases. But at some point, the winds would be slowed so much that adding more turbines will not generate more electricity. This study focused on finding the point at which energy extraction is highest.”

“Using models, the team was able to determine that more than 400 terrawatts of power could be extracted from surface winds and more than 1,800 terrawatts could be generated by winds extracted throughout the atmosphere.”

The current global demand is 18 TW of power.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • Mel Tisdale on September 12 2012 said:
    Only the Greens would want to live in world covered from horizon to horizon with wind turbines and their associated pylons and wires that are needed to interconnect them so that they can 'chase the wind.' And even then there is no guarantee that there will be any wind to chase.

    It is not as though there isn't an alternative, namely nuclear power, especially LFTR designs. The only problem is that the aforementioned Greens have worked very hard to poisen the idea of nuclear power in the minds of the public and thus have a lot to answer for. The Greens could go some way towards undoing that harm by pushing for LFTR development. It is sufficiently far removed from current uranium techonolgy to make such action not be seen to fly in the face of their current position.

    While some Greens prefer living in a yurt or a teepee and only bow to the world of technology by using a bike, the more normal person prefers a different lifestyle and realises that we live in an age dominated by science and technology. Such people seek solutions to our current energy supply problems in those fields of endeavour.
  • Dave B. on September 11 2012 said:
    Wow, what an irresponsible position to advocate! You want to take kinetic energy from the air currents around the globe, and convert it to electricity. Electricity cannot be stored, so you move the energy, maybe across contenents, and release it again.

    Consider a few simple questions here. If you slowed the winds of the world, what might happen to the cooling and evaporation effects that would be missing from the land and sea areas? What might happen to the surface temperature of land areas without the breeze to cool it? What might happen to sea temperatures without the breeze to evaporate water from the surface? What will happen to global rainfall rates? Would agriculture be sustainable? Would human living conditions be tolerable? Would we use more energy to run air conditioning to combat elevated global temperatures? Would we enter a spiral of self destruction? For what, somebody's fincancial profit? Can vegetation survive to consume CO2, or could greenhouse gas effect be compounded?

    Now release the newly produced electrical energy into industrial and residential and commercial locations. So much of the energy will be released as heat energy. This is no different than now, but it compounds the situation in the previous paragraph, especially if we are exceeding the 18 TW current damand, in the future.

    Can you see the possibility of accelerated global warming? Are you sure you want to tinker with global energy distribution? We are in a relatively stable state of equilibrium now, but you want to introduce change. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Are you sure we should be playing Russian Roulette on such a global scale? Where is the computer modelling to project the results of such global energy redistribution?

    I call this very dangerous and irresponsible thinking.
  • Hans Nieder on September 10 2012 said:
    No cost models, which means this is nothing more than a hypothesis...

    We could do the same with nuclear power as well, employing thousand of people and saving hundred of millions of birds from those shredders...

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