Wind is one of the cleanest energy sources available, and the US is sitting next to a gold mine.
A new study has found that wind speeds over the oceans could allow offshore turbines to generate far more energy than a land-based wind farm – with the North Atlantic, in particular, theoretically able to provide enough energy for all of human civilization.
In tapping into wind as an energy source, the US has for decades lagged behind Europe and UK, which are home to the largest offshore wind farms in the world, including the London Array and the Netherlands’ Gemini wind farm
But the US is catching up: the country’s opened up off the coast of Rhode Island last year, and if the Trident Winds project goes ahead, it could snatch up the title of world’s largest wind farm.
In addition to being safer to bird life and less disruptive to humans, the main advantage of setting up wind farms offshore is the fact that the wind speeds are higher out there. In theory, those speeds mean there’s five times as much energy blowing around over water than there is over land, but whether that would translate to electricity production gains was another question. Researchers from Carnegie Science set out to find the answer.
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