New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of
the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a
damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface
temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of
the world’s largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation
between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees
F) and the placement of the farms.
“Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in
installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if
spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to
regional meteorology,” Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State
University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April
29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.