Wind resource


How much wind power is there​?


This map shows the mean wind speed in m/sec at sea level for the period 1976-95. The table below converts this to energy.

m/sec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Watts/m2 1 5 17 39 77 133 211 315 448 615

The power is proportional to the cube of the velocity

What are the limits on wind power?

There are various estimates, and they are all optimistic.

Present civilization needs around 18 TW of power.

Carnegie Institute found that more than 400 terrawatts of power could be extracted from surface winds and more than 1,800 terrawatts could be generated by winds extracted throughout the atmosphere.  Clean Technica

Stanford and Lawrence Livermore National Lab say offshore and at higher altitude winds could theoretically power the planet. Ref

If all of our energy was provided by wind power, the wind turbines would change surface temperatures by around 0.1 degree Celsius and alter precipitation levels by around 1%.

The climate effects of extracting wind energy at the level of current global demand would be small, as long as the turbines were spread out and not clustered in just a few regions.”

List of studies,  Stanford study


Click on images to go to their source


The wind is stronger higher up.


Australian w​ind resource

Australia has one of the world’s largest commercially exploitable wind resources. The good news is that the strongest winds are near established power lines.

Wind power is most developed in South Australia where it provides 26% of total electricity, only Denmark has more penetration per head of population.

Beyond Zero Emissions BZE have calculated that 40% of Australia's electricity could be generated by wind.. 

climate spectator.



Wind atlas of Canada

South Australian wind energy

In South Australia there is more wind energy generated per person than anywhere in the world except Denmark. In 2011 it generated 26% of it's energy from wind and is heading for more.

The wind is subsidised, but that has been returned a few times  over by the reduction of energy prices caused by wind. The Victorian brown coal generators see this a a real threat to profits.

This chart shows the rise of wind, and the fall of coal and gas in South Australia.

Great website on South Aust. wind