Wind map shows that world's wind potential is huge
This story about a global wind map created by Cristina Archer and Mark Jacobson, both of Stanford University (readers looking for an interesting academic path take note: Stanford has a program called "Atmosphere/Energy"), has been spreading across the eco-conscious web lately. The Stanford researchers analyzed more than 8000 wind measurements from both ground stations and balloon-launch stations and their estimate of the globe's wind potential is 72 terawatts (!) of "sustainable Class 3 winds." That's enough to go back to the future 60,000 times!To produce 1.6-1.8 terawatts, which is the amount of electricity used on Earth in 2000, we would need to harness only a fraction of that potential with current wind turbine technology. It certainly will be even easier with future turbines.
The wind map shows that North-America has the greatest potential, with Northern Europe, South America and the Australian island of Tasmania also scoring high. I can't wait to hear the next excuse by the proponents of dirty power to explain why we shouldn't invest in wind now that the argument of "renewables could never produce enough power to replace coal/nuclear/etc" has lost some credibility.