One thing we have learnt this week – windpower may decrease

00002_optWindpower may decrease.  That’s the message this week in Nature.  We know that climate change will affect the weather.  A group this week have predicted it will lower wind speeds in most places. Using the same climate models from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the group predicted big falls in the UK, central US, Russia and Japan.  The only place to buck the trend is Australia.  The range was from 17% in the US to 5% in the UK.

This is slightly surprising but in some ways good news.  I’ve always thought that wind speeds will accelerate with climate change.  The finding that windpower may decrease means less damage to crops and buildings and people.  The fact that wind powered electricity output may fall can be compensated for.  First it would be stupid to put all your eggs in a wind power basket.  We need to develop other sources such as wave and tidal power.   Second by a bit more thought where the wind farms go as well as adding more capacity we can compensate for this fall.  Another plus point is that this will probably a gradual reduction in any case.  This will be easier to plan for and cope with.   I hope someone is going to look at solar output since mine seems to be falling.  I’m not sure this is weather related or due to other factors.

Neil

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