Originally posted by sonhouse
That is to say, even if we sucked up all the energy our civilization needs, there is a thousand times more in wind?
Considerably more than 1000:1
But the numbers need to be run.
No, actually, they don't. We know there is more than enough wind without bothering running any numbers.
Denmark managed to get half its power from wind with no ill effects. If they were anywhere close to the limit we would know about it.
Probably already has been somewhere.
I am sure some calculations have been made for various types of wind power, but given the wide variety I doubt there are anything more than wild estimates for global availability.
Remember that the higher you go the more wind there is, so any such calculation must make a decision as to how tall your wind turbines are. And what about other types of wind generators such as flying ones?
And do you include all the worlds winds, open ocean and all, or just the most viable locations?
For example I bet a tiny area on Antarctica could supply all the worlds needs, but its not exactly practical.
With that said:
Abstract: The potential of wind power as a global source of electricity is assessed using winds derived through assimilation of data from a variety of meteorological sources. The analysis indicates that a network of land‐based 2.5 MW turbines restricted to non‐forested, ice‐free, non‐urban areas operating at as little as 20% of their rated capacity, could supply more than 40 times current worldwide consumption of electricity, more than 5 times total global use of energy in all forms. Resources in the contiguous US, specifically in the central plain states, could accommodate as much as 16 times total current demand for electricity in the US. Estimates are given also for quantities of electricity that could be obtained using a network of 3.6 MW turbines deployed in ocean waters with depths less than 200 m within 50 nm of closest coastlines