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