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Study shows North Atlantic wind farms could power the whole world

Study shows North Atlantic wind farms could power the whole world

As expected, the results showed a significant gap between land-based and sea-based wind energy.

Power generation from a giant North Atlantic wind farm would be seasonal, dropping significantly during the northern hemisphere summer.

Wind speeds on the ocean can be as much as 70% higher than on land.

"The question was, is there something about the atmosphere or the ocean that allows it to bring down more wind energy to wind farms?"




However, it would enable people to access substantial amounts of energy and more effectively than onshore wind turbines. 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.

New research from the Carnegie Institution for Science has highlighted the "considerable opportunity" of developing offshore wind in the open ocean, which could generate up to three to five times as much energy as wind farms on land.

In a statement to HuffPost UK, Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK's Executive Director said: "The UK is the world leader in offshore wind and we have just built the first floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland". The study is based on computer models that compared the productivity of large Kansas wind farms to imagined, massive wind farms erected in the open seas.

Carnegie Institution for Science researchers Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira set out to determine the potential for offshore wind energy on the open ocean and found that in one scenario, open ocean-based offshore wind farms could generate at least three times more power than large wind farms on land. What they found is that certain parts of the open ocean provide "considerably higher power generation rates". The team claimed farms spread over approximately 3,000,000km- bigger than Argentina but a tiny fraction of the 107,000,000km Atlantic Ocean - could theoretically generate 18TW (terawatts), which they said is equivalent to total global energy demand. This heats air and causes it to rise, which leads to low pressure cyclones that force the efficient transfer of kinetic energy from the upper atmosphere to the surface of the ocean. The huge wind power resources identified by the Possner and Caldeira study provide strong incentives to develop lower-cost technologies that can operate in the open-ocean environment and transmit this electricity to land where it can be used.

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