A Canadian Wind Farm


I had asked this questions before, do wind farms effect the global environment? I now have the answer.


Alex Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemisty, Germany, theorizes that the overuse of wind/wave farms would have an impact as great as doubling the atmospheres concentration of CO2.


Kleidon states as we seek to replace the 17 Terawatts (TW), of the global 47 TW power consumption, of burning fossil fuels with renewable, we may end up depleting the amount of "Green Energy" the planet has to offer. It is a thermodynamic principal, as our wind farms generate electricity, it saps energy from the global system.


Energy from the sun hits the earth's atmosphere, and portions of it cause wind and ocean currents, evaporates water, moving condensation up into the atmosphere before it drops again. And the majority of the rest of the energy comes as heat, most of which is not harnessed. He says using wind/wave farms use a large portion of the sun's energy that reaches the earth.


Using models, Kleidon shows that the energy potential of wind power is reduced by a factor of 100 when wind farms are taken into account. He also shows that up to 70 TW of energy could be harvested from wind, but would destroy the natural global processes at the same time.


Although wind would not stop, his models have shown wind farms will effect turbulence, precipitation, and the amount of solar energy reaching the earth, over time. As Kleidon says, [as bad as] "doubling atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide."


What is a better option? More passive devices. A recent photosynthesis like breakthrough would not rob the world of kinetic energy at all. Plants have been doing it since the beginning.





Read Alex Kleidon's abstract here.