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Climate Change Impacting Wind

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An on going 11 year study being conducted by the National Climatic Data Center is revealing changing weather patterns in the U.S.  One of the points raised by the study is that wind speeds are being reduced within the central part of the U.S.  From the Great Lakes down to Texas wind speeds have declined over this period.  Shifting climate changes around the world are having an impact on wind speeds here in the U.S.

Turbines in the Plains.
Turbines in the Plains.

The concerns of reduced wind speeds in the the heart of the country are raising alarms within the wind turbine industry.  Currently 60% of the wind turbines in place in the U.S. are found in this banded region.  Lower wind speeds will have an impact on the efficiency of the turbines, and their contribution to sustainable energy.  The wind turbine industry is seeking to develop new turbines whose output can still be maximized to support sufficient energy production, despite lower wind speeds.  Shifting climatic changes are shifting wind patterns around the world.  In the U.K., studies there are highlighting higher wind speeds in the English Channel.  The movement of wind patterns could foster in a new day of cooperative energy sharing around the globe.  Where one area lessens its output, another can pick up the slack and continue to provide sustainable energy.  As the world wide need for energy grows, finding new cooperative measures to harness the wind becomes even more important.

John Vlahakis

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