72 TW of Wind?

As WorldChanging reports, a recent study by Cristina Archer and Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, mapping wind power potential worldwide, suggests a total potential power production capacity of 72 TW, for turbines centered at 80 meters above ground level. The 72 TW comes from limiting the area to sites with sustainable "class 3" winds, (15 mph or more). Ocean winds provided significantly more power than inland sites; the map should help with siting future wind farms. 72 TW of electric power, supplied continuously, is an order of magnitude more than necessary to meet world energy needs.  

WorldChanging also provides a copy of the map here, pointing out that there are some regions of the world notably lacking in good wind power resources (Asia, mainly).

In other recent news - a salon.com article covers some political progress in the US on climate bills. Mostly behind the scenes action - we'll see if anything real comes of it. And this series in the New Yorker discusses the climate issues in considerable depth, and a rather intelligent discussion of the Socolow/Hoffert positions on "wedges", business as usual, and how tough the road ahead really is.

Also in a related note - the UK Royal Society points out that the government has so far done nothing that will help reduce UK CO2 output, and huge steps are needed, now, if the Kyoto goals are to be met.

Created: 2005-06-02 16:44:55 by Arthur Smith
Modified: 2005-06-02 16:56:16 by Arthur Smith