As per research published on August 28 in the journal Climate, the solution to climate change—or even at least a portion of it—is drifting in the wind. “Early intervention will pay off,” said Rebecca Barthelmie, who is a professor in the College of Engineering’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “Our research shows that boosting the deployment of wind-energy technologies is a rational and cost-effective aspect of the essential plan for averting the worst effects of climate change. Waiting any longer will necessitate more extreme measures.”
By the close of this century, Sara C. Pryor and Barthelmie, professors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, calculated that implementing advanced wind energy situations could achieve a decrease in worldwide warming atmospheric average temperatures that range between 0.3 – 0.8 degrees Celsius.
Other greenhouse gas reduction techniques are going to need to be undertaken, they warned, in order to avoid environmental disasters. The IPCC’s Working Group I Sixth Assessment Report, released in early August, stated that climate change is swift and increasing and that the Earth’s atmosphere might warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040. According to the IPCC report, transformational change is required to avoid further warming.
“Our analysis demonstrates that the United States can expedite its deployment of the wind energy to cut carbon dioxide emissions dramatically, and that is going to make a real impact to the type of warming which the world experiences,” Barthelmie said. According to Pryor, global wind resources surpassed current electricity demand, and the price of power from wind turbines has dropped dramatically. “It’s a no-brainer to rapidly install wind energy as a crucial component of decarbonizing the electrical supply,” she said.
The wind energy business in the world has been expanding. North America, Asia, and Europe have seen a 14 percent annualized increase in total installed wind energy capacity since 2005. According to the research, worldwide wind energy electricity production increased from one trillion watts per hour in 2005 to about 1,273 terawatt-hours in the year 2018.
Wind energy supplied around 6.5 percent of the world’s 26,600 terawatt-hours of the electricity demand in 2019. Six nations are producing upwards of 20% of their need with wind energy, and the UK, Germany, as well as Spain are on their way to generating 20% of their demand with wind energy. Wind energy accounts for around 5% of China’s total electricity supply. According to the US Energy Information Administration, wind energy will generate 8.4 percent of the country’s electricity by 2020, with 6 states (Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Illinois) accounting for more than half of the country’s wind energy capacity. According to Barthelmie, wind turbines are built-in in 90 countries, generating roughly 7% of worldwide electricity, and the installed capability of wind energy continues to grow.