Studies: Wind potentially could power the world

Sep 10, 2012, 4:51 PM EDT
This March 19, 2012 file photo shows a general view of a Aliade 150 wind turbine the largest in France erected in Le Carnet, western France.
(AP Photo / David Vincent)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two new studies say Earth has more than enough wind to power the entire world, at least technically.

But the research looks only at physics, not finances. Other experts note it would be too costly to put up all those wind turbines and transmit energy to all consumers.

The studies are by two different U.S. science teams and were published in separate journals Sunday and Monday. They calculate existing wind turbine technology could produce hundreds of trillions of watts of power. That's more than 10 times what the world now consumes.

Ken Caldeira (cal-DAYR'-uh) of the Carnegie Institution for Science is a co-author of one of the studies. He says the research shows that harnessing wind's potential is more about economics than wind availability.

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