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16th October 2017, Washington, DC

Ocean wind farm could power the world

In the North Atlantic, the drag introduced by wind turbines would not slow down winds as much as they would on land. The amount of energy consumed globally could be met by a huge off-shore wind farm in the North Atlantic, researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have calculated.

It would, however, be quite some wind farm, spread across three million square metres of the ocean – an area roughly the size of India – in order to generate 18 terrawatts of power annually.

Because wind speeds are higher on average over ocean than over land, wind turbines in the open ocean could in theory intercept more than five times as much energy as wind turbines over land, say Carnegie’s Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira.

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