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Sustainable Energy

Global Wind Power

A Stanford study finds many global locations for wind power.

A new study by researchers at Stanford University has estimated the global potential for wind power at 80 meters above the ground (the approximate height of today’s wind turbines). The researchers used wind-speed measurements taken at 10 meters at 8,000 locations around the world to estimate wind speeds at 80 meters. They concluded that 13 percent of the sites had winds of 6.9 meters per second or faster – strong enough to make wind-based power generation cost-effective. If these locations represent a good sample of the world’s land area, the researchers report, there is easily enough potential wind power to meet the world’s electricity demands. In 2002, just .3 percent of the world’s electricity supply came from wind power.

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