Worse than coal or gas? Throwing some cold water on wind-power advocates, a Harvard study says that “Wide-scale US wind power could cause significant warming.”
A 2018 study by a pair of Harvard researchers “finds that a high amount of wind power could mean more climate warming, at least regionally and in the immediate decades ahead,” MIT Technology Review reported last year.
The paper raises serious questions about just how much the United States or other nations should look to wind power to clean up electricity systems.
The study, published in the journal Joule, found that if wind power supplied all US electricity demands, it would warm the surface of the continental United States by 0.24 ˚C. That could significantly exceed the reduction in US warming achieved by decarbonizing the nation’s electricity sector this century, which would be around 0.1 ˚C.
“If your perspective is the next 10 years, wind power actually has—in some respects—more climate impact than coal or gas,” coauthor David Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard, said in a statement. [Emphasis added.]
Of course, if one listens (and believes) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka #SheGuevara), we’re all doomed anyway, so much of it won’t matter.
[Thanks to DC Clothesline for pointing this out.]