Friday, October 5, 2018

Harvard study: Wind power is much worse for the environment than previously thought

I'm shocked to hear that environmentalist's pie-in-the-sky "renewable" energy claims don't hold up:
In 2013 research, Keith described how each wind turbine creates a “wind shadow” behind it where air has been slowed down by the turbine’s blades. Today’s commercial-scale wind farms carefully space turbines to reduce the impact of these wind shadows, but given the expectation that wind farms will continue to expand as demand for wind-derived electricity increases, interactions and associated climatic impacts cannot be avoided.
What was missing from this previous research, however, were observations to support the modeling. Then, a few months ago, the U.S. Geological Survey released the locations of 57,636 wind turbines around the U.S. Using this data set, in combination with several other U.S. government databases, Keith and postdoctoral fellow Lee Miller were able to quantify the power density of 411 wind farms and 1,150 solar photovoltaic plants operating in the U.S. during 2016.
“For wind, we found that the average power density — meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant — was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts,” said Miller, who is the first author of both papers. “Most of these estimates failed to consider the turbine-atmosphere interaction. For an isolated wind turbine, interactions are not important at all, but once the wind farms are more than five to 10 kilometers deep, these interactions have a major impact on the power density.”
What this means is that you need a LOT more land to produce power with windmills than people have been planning for.  And since the health impact of wind farms is well documented, this means that you need LOTS of empty land.

Or you can just say "Screw the Deplorables in Fly-Over Country".  Whatever works for you.


LSP said...

Wind power's an eco environment disaster -- but of course everything the left endorses sounds good at first and then... turns to garbage.

SiGraybeard said...

About the time I moved onto Weather Radar design for the last of my career, the effects of wind power farms on weather radar was being discovered and talked about: example.

It's an emerging concern in aircraft weather radars because they're all about watching for wind shear - adjacent areas of air moving in opposite directions. Guess what wind turbines look like on Doppler radar - first two guesses don't count.

It's relatively easy for a human looking at the radar to say "that's the wind turbines over there; that disturbance is there all the time"; it's less easy for a moving aircraft to separate out the motions and decide it's wind farm and not an area the aircraft desperately needs to avoid.