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Resource Documents by Miller, Lee

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 »

Miller, Lee; and Kleidon, Axel
Wind speed reductions by large-scale wind turbine deployments lower turbine efficiencies and set low generation limits 
Abstract: Wind turbines generate electricity by removing kinetic energy from the atmosphere. Large numbers of wind turbines are likely to reduce wind speeds, which lowers estimates of electricity generation from what would be presumed from unaffected conditions. Here, we test how well wind power limits that account for this effect can be estimated without explicitly simulating atmospheric dynamics. We first use simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) that explicitly simulates the effects of wind turbines to derive wind . . . Complete article »

Miller, Lee; Brunsell, Nathaniel; Mechem, David; et al.
Two methods for estimating limits to large-scale wind power generation 
Abstract: Wind turbines remove kinetic energy from the atmospheric flow, which reduces wind speeds and limits generation rates of large wind farms. These interactions can be approximated using a vertical kinetic energy (VKE) flux method, which predicts that the maximum power generation potential is 26% of the instantaneous downward transport of kinetic energy using the preturbine climatology. We compare the energy flux method to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional atmospheric model equipped with a wind turbine parameterization over . . . Complete article »

Miller, Lee; Gans, Fabian; and Kleidon, Axel
Estimating maximum global land surface wind power extractability and associated climatic consequences 
Abstract. The availability of wind power for renewable energy extraction is ultimately limited by how much kinetic energy is generated by natural processes within the Earth system and by fundamental limits of how much of the wind power can be extracted. Here we use these considerations to provide a maximum estimate of wind power availability over land. We use several different methods. First, we outline the processes associated with wind power generation and extraction with a simple power transfer hierarchy . . . Complete article »

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