Boost in wind energy expected due to climate change

By GreenHawks Staff Writer Sam Jerow

Researchers at Wake Forest University using climate change prediction models have determined that the effects of climate change will increase potential wind energy production in the Midwest by roughly two percent.

According to researchers, the pressure gradients that create winds will change due to increased global temperatures and will therefore affect the amount of energy that can be harnessed through turbines. As Earth’s climate continues to warm, the higher temperature will cause an influx of new wind through the Midwestern region of the US.

The trend was identified by measuring the amounts of wind energy that can be produced in specific counties of the Midwest. If the models based on these studies hold true, then the increase in wind energy will provide new electricity resources around the country, an achievement which the United States Department of Energy says will help to reach our goal of limiting carbon emissions and diversifying our energy production means.

Although environmental scientists are not arguing that climate change is a positive force, the increased energy from the new wind can be seen as making the most of a bad situation. An increase in the production of wind energy can help in the reducing the dependence on nonrenewable resources and lessen the amount of global carbon emissions, a major cause of the changing climate.

The states affected will include Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; all areas of the country that already experience high amounts of wind and wind energy. Increasing this region’s focus on turbines and renewable energy will help lead the US in moving more toward an energy independent system based on renewables.

By coordinating energy programs, the affected region will be able to utilize the two percent increase in wind energy to also significantly increase the percentage of energy that comes from wind and wind turbines. This is substantial because this particular region is notoriously dependent on coal, oil, and natural gas.

Wind energy production in the United States measured at around 65.8 gigawatts per year at the end of 2014. This energy can power over 17 million homes and an increase in wind energy will provide the opportunity to many more homes, communities and states. Identifying future trends such as this boost in wind energy is an important part of creating a secure, innovative energy strategy.

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