I was wondering. How does wind compare to hydroelectric. Both environmentally destructive,but the greenies love wind and hate hydro.
So here it says in 2009 the world produced 209 billion kWhrs. (that's a period not a comma)
that's 209 million MWhrs, in a year, divide by 8760 hrs in a yr.
that's 23,858 MW's of power going 24/7. About 10 Berwick Nuclear Plants.
that's about 65,000 1.5 MW turbines operating at 25% (US ave)
note: I know you might hate when I convert from kWhrs and from billions to millions, but it makes it easier to look at the numbers. If you want to learn about wind and energy, the first thing I suggest you do is learn how to move around decimal points with simple math.
then look at hydro, the total energy that all the wind turbines in the world produce is just shy of that one dam in China will produce, although it's a pretty big dam.
About 10 niagara falls or 12 hoover dams or 65,000 wind turbines or one big Chinese dam.
Take your pick! Not really. Because for sure in the US, and likely around the world, the wind blows more at night than during the daytime when we really need it. Also there is the matter of "firming" the wind with conventional sources. Firming the wind means that because the output is so variable a certain amount of coal or nat gas must be "wasted" to make sure the power is available as the wind turbines output constantly varies. The amount of waste is debatable.
But one fact we can be certain of, is that the turbines don't replace any dams, because some days the wind just doesn't blow. So as the worlds need for electricity continues to increase, we will need to build more power plants - and turbines need 100% backup from conventional, reliable sources. Look at the International Energy Statistics again, scroll to the bottom, world electricity generation keeps going up year after year.
The world generated 209 million MWhrs of wind in 2009.
In 2009 the total of all generation was 19,103 million MWhrs.
So wind energy was about 1% of all electricity throughout the world.
Of course, it was actually less than that when you take in a few factors we won't get into right now, like the firming I mentioned above.
Also, we have to consider that electricity production is only a part of our energy useage. We use mostly fossil fuels for heating, transportation and industrial production. In the US electricity is only 30% of our total energy consumption, so wind energy only at most creates .3% of world energy. It's actually much less than that, because the US has a relatively high amount of wind compared to the world average. So if the "experts" expect wind turbines to save us from ourselves, maybe its' time they move on to Plan B. The world has a long, long way to go before wind provides any meaningful contribution to our worlds needs.
Go Ahead! Just call me a "negative thinker".