Wind power could supply half of the world’s future energy demands.
US researchers at the University of Delaware (UD) and Stanford University calculated the potential of wind power worldwide and found installing four million turbines could generate up to 7.5TW of energy, more than enough to power half of the world’s demands by 2030.
They also identified the maximum wind power potential by finding a saturation point where adding more turbines would not increase energy output. They said the power generated at first increases proportionally, which then levels out the total energy output and reaches a “saturation wind power potential” when too many turbines leave too little wind to extract.
The researchers found the saturation wind power potential is more than 250TW globally and 80TW over land and coastal regions, which they claim exceeds global energy demand.
Mark Jacobson, a researcher from Stanford said: “The result of this study suggests that there is no fundamental barrier to obtaining many times the world power demand for all purposes in a clean-energy economy from wind.”
Cristina Archer, another researcher from UD added the demand could be met with minimal environmental impact.
She said: “Wind power is very safe from the climate point of view. Everything comes at a price, but the price of wind power comes at a low cost in terms of climate impacts.”