Large wind farms expected to slow down winds and yield less energy
Renewable wind energy sees a tremendous growth with more and more wind turbines being installed across landscapes. But what happens to the wind when a larger number of wind turbines removes more and more of the energy from atmospheric motion?
A new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by an international group headed by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena evaluated the effects of large wind farms on the atmospheric flow and its implications for how much renewable energy these can generate. As every wind turbine removes some energy from the wind, a larger number of wind turbines should result in a greater slowdown of the winds. This effect was quantified in numerical simulations with an established weather forecasting model applied to one of the windiest regions of the United States. The team found that this slowdown effect caused by wind turbines is substantial for large wind farms and resulted in proportionally less renewable energy being generated than what would be expected of an isolated wind turbine. What this implies is that this slowdown effect by large wind farms needs to be accounted for in the future planning of wind energy.….