Gallery: IRONIC: Scientists Find Wind Farms Could Actually Raise Temper...


Researchers at MIT have discovered that it’s possible that a large scale installation of wind turbines can actually raise temperatures. Looking forward to the US goal of creating 20% of our power from wind by 2030, the researchers studied what would happen to the climate in the immediate area of the wind farm. They found that temperatures on land go up about 1 degree Celsius when wind power is used to generate just 10% of global demand.

On the flip side the researchers found that wind turbines installed in water at the same density caused temperatures to drop by 1 degree Celsius. The changes in temperature were due to the wind turbines in large quantities reducing wind speed in their immediate area. The researchers said that this shouldn’t be used as an argument against wind power. “We’re not pessimistic about wind,” Ron Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science noted. “We haven’t absolutely proven this effect, and we’d rather see that people do further research.”

In their experiments they also noted that relying too heavily on wind power could prove environmentally and economically expensive. Because wind power is intermittent the gaps would need to be filled in with something like natural gas. The researchers noted that their experiment shouldn’t be trusted completely as there are variables that they can’t test on a small scale. Though they do know that wind farms reduce the strength of the wind on the downwind side of the farm, they aren’t sure if their results are perfect. They hope their experiment moves other researchers to further look into the possible problem.

Via TG Daily


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  1. redsafety May 3, 2011 at 9:19 am

    AllForTheGreen: deforestation does NOT cause deserts. Rainfall of less than 10 inches annually causes deserts. How does deforestation cause the rainfall to decrease to that level?

  2. 33noa333 November 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    constructed tidal river
    How to make deserts and continent green
    + energy + food + land + water + cooler climate.

    Use mighty power of nature. In the northwestern Australia, we have huge tides,
    huge evaporation and huge dry rivers and lakes.
    Tides are up to 12m. Evaporation is up to 4m per year and can be increased.
    Huge 12m tidal erosion can revive old dry paleo dormant once mighty rivers, creeks and lakes,
    desalinate the country and change deserts to rain forests to provide more rain across Australia.
    World population is growing rapidly and we need more energy, food, land and water.

    this will change deserts and whole continent for better climate –
    environment, provide hydro energy, permanently and economically.
    energy + food + land + water + cooler climate

    Plenty of energy and HYDROGEN TO RUN YOUR CAR environment friendly way.

  3. manny March 22, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Great article
    Surveys have proved that no wind farm can produce 100% of its maximum power output – the realistic operation output is about 50%. Many wind farms fall well below that. The norm for onshore wind farms is 25% – 30%. That represents a very low output added to the high cost of wind generation

  4. Gang green March 17, 2010 at 2:17 am

    This simply underscores the point that there is no easy, simple, “free lunch” solution to energy production. The simplest, most cost effective, economically advantageous solution to energy needs is conservation and efficiency – particularly in the US, where we have FAR more control over demand that supply.

  5. carters March 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    this is missing so much relevant information. how can you post this without asking more questions?

    how does this compare to other alternative energies?
    how does it compare to conventional energy sources?

    wind is not consistent from altitude to altitude. our weather is not caused by winds at 100-400 ft, but by winds at much much higher elevations. maybe we could hear a little about their methods to compute their findings?

    i feel like this is really irresponsible to report this with so little information. this is just the sort of thing that conservatives will jump on and use to fight alternative energy.

  6. AllForTheGreen March 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    @Dellcpi: Deforestation does indeed spike rampant wind flow upwards, and that’s a primary source of erosion. On a larger scale, it’s one of the big reasons why deserts around the world are expanding faster and faster.

  7. dellcpi March 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    What about the fact that we have ripped out so many trees that used to block the wind? Wouldn’t growing them back have the same effect?

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