Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Contrasting Electricity Demand with Wind Power Supply: Case Study in Hungary
Previous Article in Journal
Changing Energy Requirements in the Mediterranean Under Changing Climatic Conditions
Previous Article in Special Issue
Global Assessment of High-Altitude Wind Power
Energies 2009, 2(4), 816-838; doi:10.3390/en20400816

Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere

*  and
Atmosphere/Energy Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94035, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [665 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]   |   Browse Figures


This study presents a parameterization of the interaction between wind turbines and the atmosphere and estimates the global and regional atmospheric energy losses due to such interactions. The parameterization is based on the Blade Element Momentum theory, which calculates forces on turbine blades. Should wind supply the world’s energy needs, this parameterization estimates energy loss in the lowest 1 km of the atmosphere to be ~0.007%. This is an order of magnitude smaller than atmospheric energy loss from aerosol pollution and urbanization, and orders of magnitude less than the energy added to the atmosphere from doubling CO2. Also, the net heat added to the environment due to wind dissipation is much less than that added by thermal plants that the turbines displace.
Keywords: wind energy; atmosphere; atmospheric energy loss wind energy; atmosphere; atmospheric energy loss
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Sta. Maria, M.R.V.; Jacobson, M.Z. Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere. Energies 2009, 2, 816-838.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Energies EISSN 1996-1073 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert