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Among the various sources of clean energy, wind power is certainly one of the most promising. The estimates see attractive data ranging from a minimum of potential produced power of 72 terawatts (TW) up to a maximum usable wind power of 142 TW..
For those unfamiliar with the unit of measurement of power (watt = 1 J / s), just think that to satisfy the whole electricity needs of the globe would serve "only" 15 TW. With these estimates we would think that the global energy problem could be resolved bywind power… Unfortunately, according to research carried out at Harvard University, these estimates greatly overestimate the wind potential.
The research was conducted by David Keith, a physicist at Harvard University and was published in "Enviromental Research Letters ". According to the publication, the real usable wind power is equal to one fifth of what has been estimated to date.
Physicist Keith performed a series of simulations on the effect the wind has on the turbulent wake that is created downstream of the wind farms, this trail prevents the various turbines from being placed close enough together. A wind farm it must be set up so that the turbulent wake on its downstream path does not interfere with the other propellers, when the wake interferes, the energy production decreases.
Thus David Keith's estimates see an effective output of no more than 1 watt per square meter. Applying this estimate to the total of usable surfaces for the preparation of wind farms around the world, this source will only be able to meet 10 percent of global energy demand. However, it must be considered that even David Keith's study is not free from errors, furthermore this publication does not take into account the great potential provided by theoffshore wind.