To quantify the dilution of wind power, consider a supermarket. Each square meter of floor space calls for about 300 watts for lights, refrigeration, heating, etc. The energy produced by a wind farm is about 5 watts per square meter — many square meters of wind farm are needed to supply one square meter of supermarket. Building larger and larger wind turbines does not help. Larger units must be spaced farther apart. The 5 watts per square meter prevails.
China has 50 nuclear plants under construction and nearly 200 additional units in the planning stage. If eight billion people are to enjoy hot showers and cold beer, they had better put off thinking about sunshine and wind turbines.
Richard C. Hill of Old Town, now retired, taught engineering at the University of Maine in Orono.
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