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Gone with the wind-why the fast jet stream winds cannot contribute much renewable energy after all

The assumption that high jet steam wind speeds in the upper atmosphere correspond to high wind power has now been challenged by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. Taking into account that the high wind speeds result from the near absence of friction and not from a strong power source, Axel Kleidon and colleagues found that the maximum extractable energy from jet streams is approximately 200 times less than reported previously. Moreover, climate model simulations show that energy extraction by wind turbines from jet streams alters their flow, and this would profoundly impact the entire climate system of the planet.

idw :: 30.11.2011