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Wind & Sun

The down side to wind power

As the world begins its large-scale transition toward low-carbon energy sources, it is vital that the pros and cons of each type are well understood and the environmental impacts of renewable energy, small as they may be in comparison to coal and gas, are considered.

In two papers — published today in the journals Environmental Research Letters and Joule — Harvard University researchers find that the transition to wind or solar power in the U.S. would require five to 20 times more land than previously thought, and, if such large-scale wind farms were built, would warm average surface temperatures over the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius.
     — Leah Burrows

Remember, the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. This means that wind power and solar power are at best supplemental power sources. There has to be something else to provide baseline power.

Given that, we also need to acknowledge the costs of power sources.
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