No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study out of Harvard finds that ramping up wind power in America would also dial up the nation’s temperatures.
The study finds overall that the U.S. would warm a few tenths of a degree if the number of turbines were increased dramatically. That’s because wind mixes the normal layers of warm and cool air in a way that makes the surface toastier.
As Harvard professor David Keith puts it, when it comes to energy production, “there is no free lunch.”
Still, the researchers and other scientists stress that climate change from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels is clearly a far bigger threat globally and over the long term.
And despite the potential drawbacks, they say wind energy still makes more sense for the environment than fossil fuels.