The potential of wind power as a global source of electricity is assessed by using winds derived through assimilation of data from a variety of meteorological sources. The analysis indicates that a network of land-based 2.5-megawatt (MW) turbines restricted to nonforested, ice-free, nonurban areas operating at as little as 20% of their rated capacity could supply >40 times current worldwide consumption of electricity, >5 times total global use of energy in all forms. Resources in the contiguous United States, specifically in the central plain states, could accommodate as much as 16 times total current demand for electricity in the United States. Estimates are given also for quantities of electricity that could be obtained by using a network of 3.6-MW turbines deployed in ocean waters with depths <200 m within 50 nautical miles (92.6 km) of closest coastlines.

“Wind power may be the key to a clean energy revolution: a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science finds that wind power could provide for the entire world’s current and future energy needs.

… the researchers found that wind energy could not only supply all of the world’s energy requirements, but it could provide over forty times the world’s current electrical consumption and over five times the global use of total energy needs.”