Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Do Wind Turbines change our Climate?

Some 10 years ago when there was not so much to discuss in the electric power industry (the Smart grid was not yet invented) I attended a conference on Electric Power Systems. One of the crucial questions was: Do Wind Power Turbines change our Climate? These questions are still asked - all over and by many experts.

The other day I read in the IEEE Power & Energy Magazine some interesting answers on this question. In the May/June 2010 issue you can read on page 6 (share your thoughts) an answer from NREL: "... it should be kept in mind that our energy mix will never be comprised solely of wind energy, so at even at large but reasonable levels of wind penetration the global impact would not be measurable. These results should not be surprising because fundamentally wind turbines just increase the friction or drag at the bottom of the atmospheric boundary layer much like trees or any other obstruction to the flow. My conclusion is that levels of wind energy amounting to 20–50% of our electricity should not cause any measurable change in global climate."

There is another question: Can you proof that the leaves of a tree are moved by the wind? Or are they generating the wind? Wind turbines may be used to generate wind - once we have too much electric power ... ok, I am kidding.

Click HERE to read the full text in May/June 2010 issue.

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