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Community and Q&A

The dark side of wind power

jackofalltrades777 | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

“…power available from wind is much more limited than many experts thought, and that deployment on a larger scale could significantly raise temperatures over the Earth’s surface, as turbines alter atmospheric flows.”

“…an expansive wind farm would need to operate for more than a century or so before the reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions would offset the local warming effect.”

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    It's not as dark as the headlines might imply.

    The local warming effect is almost a "who cares?" type of thing, but shouldn't be ignored completely in more sensitive areas. In some of the northern plains states the local warming of being co-sited with a wind farm could even be beneficial for the incumbent agricultural biz. Yes that changes the local ecology, but not nearly as much as the sod-busting agriculture has already done. A century of operation to offset the world temp enough to match the local heating effects would be a good thing.

    Large scale off-shore wind is unlikely to have a discernable local warming effect, but that can be monitored too.

  2. irene3 | | #2

    I suspect some folks are hearing an echo of "global warming" in the expression "local warming," instead of seeing it as precisely NOT global in effect. I'm locally warming my seat, but that doesn't mean I'm contributing to global warming by transferring heat from my body to my seat cushions.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #3

      Irene, you're upsetting the delicate balance of the ecosystem of your seat cushions by sitting on them- a dark and destructive thing indeed! :-)

      I actually found it rather comforting that by running the wind farms for 100 years would reduce the GLOBAL climate enough to completely offset the LOCAL warming. That would be an excellent result, one we could all be in favor of!

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