Study shows North Atlantic wind farms could power the whole world
Wind is one of the cleanest energy sources available, and the US is sitting next to a gold mine. A new study has found that wind speeds over the oceans could allow offshore turbines to generate far more energy than a land-based wind farm – with the North Atlantic, in particular, theoretically able to provide enough energy for all of human civilization.
In tapping into wind as an energy source, the US has for decades lagged behind Europe and UK, which are home to the largest offshore wind farms in the world, including the London Array and the Netherlands' Gemini wind farm. But the US is catching up: the country's first facility opened up off the coast of Rhode Island last year, and if the Trident Winds project goes ahead, it could snatch up the title of world's largest wind farm.
In addition to being safer to bird life and less disruptive to humans, the main advantage of setting up wind farms offshore is the fact that the wind speeds are higher out there. In theory, those speeds mean there's five times as much energy blowing around over water than there is over land, but whether that would translate to electricity production gains was another question. Researchers from Carnegie Science set out to find the answer.
"Are the winds so fast just because there is nothing out there to slow them down?" asks Ken Caldeira, co-author of the new study. "Will sticking giant wind farms out there just slow down the winds so much that it is no better than over land?"
The team used computer models to compare the output of existing land-based wind farms in Kansas to huge, theoretical facilities out in the open ocean. According to their results, turbines in the ocean wouldn't drag down the wind speeds as much as those over land would, and in some areas, they could generate three times as much electricity as their land-based counterparts.
The mechanism behind that is a result of atmospheric conditions differing over land and sea. The energy that turbines tap into starts as faster winds at higher altitudes, which are brought down towards the surface. Over land, those winds tend to stay up high, but over the ocean – and paticularly over the North Atlantic – surface warming of the seawater brings them down to within reach of the turbines.
"We found that giant ocean-based wind farms are able to tap into the energy of the winds throughout much of the atmosphere, whereas wind farms onshore remain constrained by the near-surface wind resources," says Anna Possner, co-author of the study.
As rich as the North Atlantic is for wind energy, the team also found that its productivity would vary by the season. In the summer, such a huge, theoretical offshore wind farm could be capable of powering the entire United States or Europe, but in winter, the team says there's enough energy on offer to meet the needs of the whole world.
The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Source: Carnegie Science
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Furthermore, from an article by Matt Ridley:
“world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years.”
“If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000.”
“At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area [half the size of] the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area [half] the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels”.
The 'efficiency' of offshore facilities are restricted by the turbines themselves which are already at their physical peak so whilst there might be gains to be made with the consistency of the winds, no gains will be made from the turbines themselves.
And to eradicate all global fossil fuel use, not just merely keep up with the 2% growth in demand for electricity, would probably mean the occupation of most of the Atlantic Ocean with wind turbines.
The concept is preposterous.
1. Aluminium- Shortage? Aluminium is abundant, 2nd most common element in Earth's crust. Quoting temporary WW2 shortage is ridiculous, as is 'melting down Boeings'. There is usually an excess of aluminium in today's world due to high demand.
2. Copper wire? Because of its light weight and electrical conductivity, aluminum wire is used for long-distance transmission of electricity. https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1256/pdf/ofr2010-1256..pdf
3. NOT the optimal performer in turbine blades, especially offshore. "The TOPSIS method, which is unique in the way of determining the preference order, presented clearer results. From the analysis we observed that if the wind turbine blades are made out of composite materials using carbon fibers, then they possess the high stiffness, low density and long fatigue life." Summary-- http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.100.5821&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Jun 27, 2016 - LM 88.4P Wind Turbine Blade. Image courtesy of LM ... Glass fiber material is the primary ingredient for the blade's strength.
4. Service life-- "prove it can withstand 25 years of operation offshore". -- https://www.lmwindpower.com/en/products-and-services/blade-types/longest-blade-in-the-world
5. Maintenance-- Let's combine all costs- design, manufacture, transport & installation, operation, depreciation, etc, etc. NOT just 'maintenance' -- "Wind power is cost-effective. It is one of the lowest-cost renewable energy technologies available today, with power prices offered by newly built wind farms averaging 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on the wind resource and the particular project's financing." https://www.google.co.th/search?q=wind+turbine+maintenance+cost&oq=wind+turbine+maintenance&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.16481j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
So your opinion is worthless, the ranting of someone who thinks turbines "eyesores", presumably compared to a coal-fired obscenity belching ash & water vapor from its beautiful cooling towers? Or a production oilfield?
My statements are supported by EVIDENCE, not mere opinion.