Nov 17, 2010

Effects of global warming on wind energy availability

Diandong Ren
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
  • Proposes a generic power-law relationship between global warming and the usable wind energy (Betz’s law)
  • Determines the power law index (∼4∼4, region dependent) using simulated atmospheric parameters from eight global coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models (CGCMs)
  • Finds that the power-law relationship holds across all eight climate models and also is time scale independent
  • Results show that the reduction of wind power scales with the degree of warming according to a generic power-law relationship
  • States this relationship is an area-averaged consequence of the reduced poleward temperature gradient as the climate warms during the 21st Century; it does not imply spatial uniformity over a region of interest
  • Suggests the earlier we switch to clean energy, and thereby decrease the global climate warming trend, the more cost-effective will be the harnessing of wind energy