Wind Power Potential Higher Than Current Estimates

Global wind energy potential is considerably above previous estimates by both wind industry groups and government departments, as outlined by a Harvard University study published a week ago inside the Proceedings on the National Academy of Sciences of the usa.

The newest research surfaced just weeks after T. Boone Pickens, citing rising financing costs, scaled back his plans to the world's largest wind farm in west Texas.

Using data from many meteorological stations, the Harvard team estimated the globe wind power potential to become 40 times greater than total current power consumption. A previous study cited within the paper put that multiple at about 7 times.

Within the lower 48 states, the possibility from wind power is 16 times a lot more than total electricity demand in the usa, the study suggested - significantly more than a 2008 United states doe study that projected wind could supply a fifth of electricity near you by 2030.

While remote elements of Russia and Canada have the greatest theoretical potential, the Harvard study remarked that there are real gains to be made in high-emission nations, especially China, which includes been rapidly constructing coal plants. "Large-scale progression of wind power in China could permit an 18-fold increase in electricity supply relative to consumption reported for 2005," the Harvard study said.

The findings are "further validation of cures%u2019ve been saying - that the us is the Saudi Arabia of wind," said Michael Goggin, an electricity industry analyst to the American Wind Energy Association.

The authors based their calculations for the deployment of two.five* to three*fantastic wind turbines situated either in accessible rural areas which have been neither frozen nor forested, or relatively shallow offshore locations. Additionally they used a conservative 20 percent estimate for capacity factor, a way of measuring simply how much energy a given turbine actually produces.

In a good example of how renewable energy potential could be a moving target, Mr. Goggin explained the growth in the forecasts might be related to the increasingly common utilization of very large turbines that rise to almost 100 meters.

Wind speeds are greater at higher elevations. Previous wind studies were based on the deployment of 50- to 80-meter turbines.

"As turbines get taller," predicts Mr. Goggin, "we'll see far more capitalization of the resource."

By: Lincoln Zamora

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