Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Wind power can affect climate:
Impact is far less than CO2, but not zero: "A group of Canadian and U.S. scientists reported Tuesday that computer simulations show that a large-scale use of wind farms to generate electrical power could create a significant temperature change over Earth's land masses. .. Specifically, if wind generation were expanded to the point where it produced one-10th of today's energy, the models say cooling in the Arctic and a warming across the southern parts of North America should happen. The exact mechanism for this is unclear, but the scientists believe it may have to do with the disruption of the flow of heat from the equator to the poles. Depending on how much energy is ultimately generated by wind power, the study's simulations say these changes could range from one-third of a degree to 2 degrees Celsius. One unexpected finding to the study is that the hotter temperate zone/cooler Arctic effect exists in the simulations if the wind farms are concentrated in a few spots or scattered across the world.
Prof. Keith and others involved in the study strongly caution, however, against an anti-wind-power reading of their work. “This is really a ‘but, yes' article,” says Stephen Pacala, a professor of ecology at Princeton University, who is a co-author of the paper. The “but” is the fact that wind farms would alter the climate, the “yes” is the paper's preliminary estimation that if wind power produced one-10th of today's energy, its climate-altering effects would be only one-fifth that of the carbon dioxide it would replace." 8:32:33 AM