Harvard Study Finds Fewer Benefits to Renewable Energies than Projected

‘If your perspective is the next 10 years, wind power actually has — in some respects — more climate impact than coal or gas…’

ENVIRO VS. ENVIRO: Wind Turbines Pollute Vermont Mountains

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(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Environmentalists and global warming alarmists have long touted the earth-saving benefits of renewable, clean energy.

And what could be cleaner and more renewable than sunshine and wind?

Turns out, a lot.

According to two new Harvard University studies, published last week in the scientific journals Environmental Research Letters and Joule, “free” solar and wind power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Harvard researchers found that to sufficiently transition away from fossil fuels in favor of wind energy or solar power in the United States would require anywhere from five to 20 times more land than previously thought.

Researchers also determined that if the required amount of large-scale wind farms were built, they would actually end up increasing average surface temperatures over the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius.

For perspective, that’s more warming than the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says will occur in 10 years.

“Wind beats coal by any environmental measure, but that doesn’t mean that its impacts are negligible,” said David Keith, an applied physics professor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and senior author of both papers.

Keith said that the reason previous projections about the amount of land needed for large-scale wind farms was dramatically underestimated is because they didn’t account for “interactions between turbines [windmills] and the atmosphere.”

Keith and lead co-author Lee Miller also found that even though solar power offers 10 times more energy than wind-generated power, the promised benefits of solar are “much lower than estimates by leading energy experts.”

Both findings are devastating to conventional renewable energy belief, and they implicate untold billions in government subsidy proposals.

But that doesn’t mean elite climate change views are about change, especially as committed environmentalists and pandering politicians can just move their policy goal posts — sometimes to the absurd.

“If your perspective is the next 10 years, wind power actually has — in some respects — more climate impact than coal or gas. If your perspective is the next thousand years, then wind power has enormously less climatic impact than coal or gas,” said Keith.