WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A new research reveals that there is so much wind energy over oceans that could be used to provide power for all human civilization.
- It will only become a reality if we are going to cover the vast ocean with turbines.
- This idea could be the next big thing for wind energy technology.
Wind energy technology that can power all of society and its advancement. Where can we get that?
Going to the beach is not just for the sun, sand and sea. We like how the ocean breeze blows our hair and skin. Although sometimes it gets so strong that we need to hold onto something to not fall. And in extreme weathers, the winds are so powerful that we need to take cover.
There is a possibility that the ocean wind can provide us with electricity. Wind energy so strong that it can power all of human civilization. A new study published early this month reveals that there is so much wind energy over the oceans that has the capability to create “civilization scale power”.
The research team in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was led by Carnegie researcher Anna Possner and collaborated by Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California.
The idea is promising, however, it is very unlikely to happen. It would mean construction of countless wind turbines to cover the expansive ocean. The installation alone could prove disastrous. Add maintenance work and extreme weather conditions, the possibility of this study coming to reality is far-fetched.
The scientists also say that building ocean wind turbines in that magnitude could affect the Earth’s climate. But, they are not dismissing the idea, knowing that wind energy over the open oceans has large potential. The best possible alternative is building floating wind farms over deep waters.
“I would look at this as kind of a green light for that industry from a geophysical point of view,” said Caldeira.
The research considers that wind energy gathered by wind farms on land has a possible limit. This is due to natural and man-made structures that can cause friction and slow wind speed.
The researchers compared a hypothetical wind farm built on 2 million square kilometers over the U.S., concentrated on Kansas, and the wind energy from the open Atlantic ocean. It discovers that creating immense wind farms over the central U.S. would not be enough to power U.S. and China.
Meanwhile, the North Atlantic could hypothetically provide power “at least three times as high” to not just the U.S and China, but to other countries as well.
Therefore, the study concludes that “on an annual mean basis, the wind power available in the North Atlantic could be sufficient to power the world.”