[ExI] Efficiency of wind power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Apr 7 08:31:03 UTC 2011

On Wed, Apr 06, 2011 at 12:28:19PM -0700, spike wrote:

> Thanks Max.  I was a big fan of wind power until ~2008.  Starting in that

I never was. The potential is limited to locations, and as a secondary
source to the solar primary it is limited in total volume.

See respective total available energy on

As you see, even terrestrial solar flux is about a factor
of 6000 in excess our needs, and 2000 in excess of our
needs just considered land area. Incidentally, just the flux
upon human-made structures matches the total energy demand.

Solar also happens to match demand very closely, at least
in Germany (peak around noon), so you can get rid of inefficient
and/or nonagile peak plants.

> year, I began making frequent trips coast to coast, and saw wind farms in
> various places.  I noted the locations and set my computer to remind me to
> look out the window when various wind farms were coming into view.  It is
> something that burned an image into my retinas: most of the time in most of
> those wind farms, all of the turbines were sitting still and quiet.

Nevertheless it is possible to generate a fair fraction of total
electricity with wind alone:


Recent study says 65% of total electricity production in
Germany could be done with wind power -- in theory.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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