Recall we just had the story about the wild and crazy idea about preventing tornadoes with giant walls. Turns out you actually CAN dull the impact of a hurricane. But, it also comes at a ridiculous cost.
Billions of dollars in U.S. damage from mega-storms Katrina and Sandy might have been avoided with a perhaps surprising device — wind turbines.
That’s the finding of a ground-breaking study today that says mammoth offshore wind farms can tame hurricanes rather than be destroyed by them. It says a phalanx of tens of thousands of turbines can lower a hurricane’s wind speed up to 92 mph and reduce its storm surge up to 79%.
Unlike sea walls, which protect cities from storm surges, wind farms pay for themselves by generating pollution-free electricity, says lead author Mark Jacobson, an engineering professor at Stanford University. “The additional hurricane (protection) benefit is free.”
There are currently NO offshore wind farms in the U.S. as in other countries. Turbines remove energy from the wind. Although they may be susceptible to hurricane damage, they can harness part of the massive energy from them. However, building the tens of thousands of wind turbines in order to achieve this result is cost prohibitive. But, at least it’s a promising idea.