A University of Sussex and Aarhus University collaboration suggests that Europe could potentially grow onshore wind capacity by 100 times. The 52.5 TW capacity would be enough to fulfil global energy demand until 2015.
The researchers used a novel technique whereby spatial analysis of Geographical Information System (GIS)-based wind atlases allowed the team to identify around 46% of Europe’s territory that would be suitable for onshore wind farms, with Russia, Turkey and Norway providing the best locations.
Co-author Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex, said:
“The study is not a blueprint for development but a guide for policymakers indicating the potential of how much more can be done and where the prime opportunities exist. Our study suggests that the horizon is bright for the onshore wind sector and that European aspirations for a 100% renewable energy grid are within our collective grasp technologically.
“Obviously, we are not saying that we should install turbines in all the identified sites but the study does show the huge wind power potential right across Europe which needs to be harnessed if we’re to avert a climate catastrophe.”