Study suggests real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales has been overestimated

Phys.org
Research by Harvard professor David Keith suggests that the global capacity for energy generation from wind power has been overestimated, and that geophysical / climate effects of turbines will reduce the benefits of large-scale power installations.

“People have often thought there’s no upper bound for wind power—that it’s one of the most scalable power sources,” says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don’t seem likely to “run out” on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry. Yet the latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.

Each wind turbine creates behind it a “wind shadow” in which the air has been slowed down by drag on the turbine’s blades. The ideal wind farm strikes a balance, packing as many turbines onto the land as possible, while also spacing them enough to reduce the impact of these wind shadows. But as wind farms grow larger, they start to interact, and the regional-scale wind patterns matter more. Read article

6 thoughts on “Study suggests real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales has been overestimated

    • Yes David, what we are suggesting, is that perhaps you would be happier elsewhere, somewhere that you may be appreciated. I don’t know where that place may be, but you really should go, and leave as soon as possible.

  1. Though deep into the “happy hour”, I swear that I just heard Ontario transportation minister Glen Murray, on Global News, blame the poor snow removal from the highway off-ramps in the last snow storm on, wait for it, “climate change”.

    To the powers that be: please save us from this Liberal government.

    Another shiraz, please. Make that half a dozen.

    • Well Gord, as we all know, the climate does indeed change…..winter comes, then spring, soon followed by summer, and so on…..so climate change can be taken in many ways. Obviously the Liberals have their own ideas on the subject. I like to call them ” the Very Convenient Lies”. Also, we’ve blown the budget on wind turbines, we can’t afford snow removal equipment….all this snow was supposed to go away with global warming anyway, but Mother Nature didn’t get the memo from Queen’s Park. Shame eh?

  2. WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Though I am ineligible to participate in the University of Waterloo “Quality of Life and Renewable Energy Technologies Study”

    I have had a brief opportunity to look at the survey. It is a 32 – page booklet; 8 legal size papers, folded in half, printed front and back. Also included is a cover letter (1 page front and back) signed by Phil Bigelow, Tanya Christidis, Siva Sivoththaman, Leila Jalali MedicalDoctor, Mahtab Kamali, Susan Yates, Steve McColl, Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, Jane Law, Shannon Majowicz, Veronique Boscart, James Lane, Samriti Mishra, Claire Paller.

    Also included is a Contact Information Form on which you can select Yes or No about whether you are interested in being contacted for participation in the second part of this study.

    Also included is a self-addressed postage-paid envelope.

    I ADVISE YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO STUDY

    If someone has a digital copy, please make it available as soon as possible.
    Pass this message around.
    If you have filled out any part of the study, I advise do not provide it to anybody, and get copies made of it.
    If you have already sent your survey back,,,

    You can expect this survey will go down in infamy…

    This research is unethical.

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