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Resource Documents by Keith, David

Miller, Lee; and Keith, David
Climatic Impacts of Wind Power
Highlights Wind power reduces emissions while causing climatic impacts such as warmer temperatures Warming effect strongest at night when temperatures increase with height Nighttime warming effect observed at 28 operational US wind farms Wind’s warming can exceed avoided warming from reduced emissions for a century Summary We find that generating today’s US electricity demand (0.5 TWe) with wind power would warm Continental US surface temperatures by 0.24°C. Warming arises, in part, from turbines redistributing heat by mixing the boundary layer. . . . Complete article »

Miller, Lee; and Keith, David
Observation-based solar and wind power capacity factors and power densities
Abstract – Power density is the rate of energy generation per unit of land surface area occupied by an energy system. The power density of low-carbon energy sources will play an important role in mediating the environmental consequences of energy system decarbonization as the world transitions away from high power-density fossil fuels. All else equal, lower power densities mean larger land and environmental footprints. The power density of solar and wind power remain surprisingly uncertain: estimates of realizable generation rates per . . . Complete article »

Adams, Amanda; and Keith, David
Are global wind power resource estimates overstated?
Abstract: Estimates of the global wind power resource over land range from 56 to 400 TW. Most estimates have implicitly assumed that extraction of wind energy does not alter large-scale winds enough to significantly limit wind power production. Estimates that ignore the effect of wind turbine drag on local winds have assumed that wind power production of 2–4 W m⁻² can be sustained over large areas. New results from a mesoscale model suggest that wind power production is limited to . . . Complete article »

Kirk-Davidoff, Daniel; and Keith, David
Climate Impact of Surface Roughness Anomalies
Abstract Large-scale deployment of wind power may alter climate through alteration of surface roughness. Previous research using GCMs has shown large-scale impacts of surface roughness perturbations but failed to elucidate the dynamic mechanisms that drove the observed responses in surface temperature. Using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model in both its standard and aquaplanet forms, the authors have explored the impact of isolated surface roughness anomalies on the model climate. A consistent Rossby wave response in the mean winds to roughness . . . Complete article »

Keith, David; DeCarolis, Joseph; Denkenberger, David; Lenschow, Donald; Malyshev, Sergey; Pacala, Stephen; and Rasch, Philip
Influence of large-scale wind power on global climate
Abstract:  Large-scale use of wind power can alter local and global climate by extracting kinetic energy and altering turbulent transport in the atmospheric boundary layer. We report climate-model simulations that address the possible climatic impacts of wind power at regional to global scales by using two general circulation models and several parameterizations of the interaction of wind turbines with the boundary layer. We find that very large amounts of wind power can produce nonnegligible climatic change at continental scales. Proceedings . . . Complete article »

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