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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 7;106(27):10933-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904101106. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Global potential for wind-generated electricity.

Author information

1
School of Engineering and Applied Science, Cruft Lab 211, Harvard University, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

The potential of wind power as a global source of electricity is assessed by using winds derived through assimilation of data from a variety of meteorological sources. The analysis indicates that a network of land-based 2.5-megawatt (MW) turbines restricted to nonforested, ice-free, nonurban areas operating at as little as 20% of their rated capacity could supply >40 times current worldwide consumption of electricity, >5 times total global use of energy in all forms. Resources in the contiguous United States, specifically in the central plain states, could accommodate as much as 16 times total current demand for electricity in the United States. Estimates are given also for quantities of electricity that could be obtained by using a network of 3.6-MW turbines deployed in ocean waters with depths <200 m within 50 nautical miles (92.6 km) of closest coastlines.

PMID:
19549865
PMCID:
PMC2700152
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0904101106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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