Researchers say ocean winds could power all of human civilization


Wind farms in the open ocean can generate far more renewable energy than those on land, possibly enough to power the whole world, said a USA study on Monday.

Computer simulations showed that wind turbines in the North Atlantic would be able to generate at least four times more energy per square metre than their counterparts on land.

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The earlier researches have estimated that there might be a high limit of energy amount, which can be produced by the wind farms located on the surface of land. The U.S. built its first offshore wind farm past year, and the industry has thrived in Europe.

Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira examined ocean farms' ability to beat electricity generation from land farms - which they claimed is limited to approximately 1.5W/m - or offshore installations, which can operate at around 3W/mwith wind speeds of about 50km/h. But the more self-effacing message is that wind energy over the ocean has a huge prospective strengthening the idea that floating wind farms over very extensive waters could be the succeeding paramount move for wind energy technology. They are thwarted by many practical factors, including the fact that the winds aren't equally strong in all seasons, and that the technologies to capture their energy at such a scale, much less transfer it to shore, do not now exist.

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In some areas, particularly the North Atlantic, ocean-based wind farms would be far more potent because the drag introduced by wind turbines would not slow down winds as much as they would on land. "The answer was basically yes", said Caldeira to Professional Engineering.

Underscoring the theoretical nature of the calculations, Lundquist added by email that "current and foreseeable wind turbine deployments both on- and off-shore are much smaller than would be required to reach the atmospheric energy limitations that this work and others are concerned with". As energy specialist Professor Gordon Hughes recently explained, in an article in the Financial Times, the capital cost of offshore wind farms is actually rising.

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