By Emma Woollacott
March 12th, 2010
Opponents of land-based wind farms have a new ally in the form of MIT. Researchers there say that, far from mitigating global warming, land-based wind turbines actually increase the temperature around them.
With the US Department of Energy expecting wind power to account for a fifth of the US’s electricity supply by 2030, the team used a climate model to analyze the effects of millions of wind turbines on the climate.
Such a massive deployment could indeed make a difference, they found – though not necessarily a welcome one.
Ron Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science, and principal research scientist Chien Wang of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences suggest that using wind turbines to meet 10 percent of global energy demand in 2100 could cause temperatures to rise by one degree Celsius in the regions on land where they’re installed.