Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

wind turbines
Image: Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica

Clean Power

Good News, Bad News: Global Heating May Boost Wind Farm Output Due To Stronger Wind

Scientist say alterations in ocean currents caused by global warming are causing higher average wind speeds around the world, which leads to more electricity being generated by wind farms.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to wind energy and a warming planet. According to The Guardian, scientists have discovered that the world’s shifting ocean circulation patterns may have triggered a rapid increase in wind speeds over the last 10 years.

Image: Zach Shahan,

So the good news is that global heating may actually increase the output of wind generators. The bad news is that if the planet gets hot enough, we’re all going to die. So how you view this news will depend on whether you are a glass half full or half empty kind of person.

“The international research team analysed data from 9,000 international weather stations since the late 1970s and found that wind speeds had unexpectedly increased after a three-decade slowdown.”

Their findings are reported in the peer reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

“Dr Zhenzhong Zeng, a professor at Princeton University and the lead author of the report, said the research team was surprised by the findings after setting out to study the slowdown in global wind speeds.

“The faster than expected wind speeds could help increase the amount of renewable electricity generated by windfarms by more than a third to 3.3m kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2024.

“Zeng said the unexpected acceleration is likely to have played a bigger role in improving the efficiency of windfarms in the US than technological innovations.”

Higher wind speeds are expected to continue for at least the next decade.

“Dr Adrian Chappell, a professor at Cardiff University and a co-author of the report, said the rapid increase in global wind speed bodes well for the expansion of renewable energy which will be central to keeping global heating to below 2C.”

The findings of the research are a reversal of something known to the climate science community as global terrestrial stilling. Decreasing wind speeds over the last three decades were expected to cut the world’s wind power potential by half by the end of this century. But thanks to pouring billions of tons more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, humans will have plenty of renewable energy available as the continents slowly sink beneath the waves. Oh, joy.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists. By Karen Perry Stillerman, Senior Analyst, Food & Environment Long a joke in federal policy circles, Infrastructure Week is actually upon us. Since...

Climate Change

A new study claims failure to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees C will lead to irreversible loss of the Antarctic...

Climate Change

Courtesy of The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Every 10 years, NOAA releases an analysis of U.S. weather of the past three decades...

Climate Change

Increasingly frequent power failures combined with heatwaves fueled by climate change pose severe, compounding threats to major American cities, new research suggests. The study,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.