PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Clearing the air: Wind farms more land efficient than previously thought

Existing roads key to increasing efficiency of wind farms

2024-04-17
(Press-News.org) Wind power is a source of energy that is both affordable and renewable.

However, decision-makers have been reluctant to invest in wind energy due to a perception that wind farms require a lot of land compared to electric power plants driven by fossil fuels. Research led by McGill University and based on the assessment of the land-use of close to 320 wind farms in the U.S. (the largest study of its kind) paints a very different picture.

Misplaced preconceptions about the land use of gas-fuelled electricity

The study, which was published recently in Environmental Science and Technology, shows that, when calculations are made, the entire wind farm area is usually considered as land given over to wind development. However, the wind power infrastructure (such as the turbines and roads) typically only uses 5 per cent of the entire farmland – the rest is often used for other purposes, such as agriculture.

The research also shows that if wind turbines are sited in areas with existing roads and infrastructure, such as on agricultural land, they can be approximately seven times more efficient, in terms of energy produced per square metre of land directly impacted by the infrastructure, than projects that are developed from scratch.

“The land use of wind farms has often been viewed as among the predominant challenges to wind development,” explains Sarah Jordaan, an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at McGill and the senior author on the study. “But, by quantifying the land area used by nearly 16,000 wind turbines in the western U.S., we found that gas-fired generation offers no real benefits in terms of lesser land use when the infrastructures, including all the wells, pipelines, and roads associated with the natural gas supply chain, are considered.”

A new approach to future energy technology assessments

It has been difficult to get a clear picture of the land use associated with wind power in the U.S. until now because earlier studies only looked at the infrastructure associated with wind energy and land use on a relatively small scale, making it difficult to extrapolate from their results. Other studies have relied on estimates of the entire wind farm, rather than the land directly impacted by the infrastructure.

By combining information gathered through GIS (geographic information systems) with machine learning models developed using nearly 2000 images of wind farms from the American portion of the Western Interconnection (which provides electricity to 14 states in the U.S. as well as to portions of Canada and Mexico), the researchers were able to train a deep learning model to analyze land use in wind farms. By doing so, they were able to assess a range of factors (placement of turbines, pre-existing roads, age of turbines, etc.) that contribute to the land directly impacted by wind infrastructure.

“The method we have developed is potentially useable for future assessments of various energy technologies, whether in terms of environmental impact analysis or energy systems planning for net zero emissions,” adds Jordaan. “In fact, it sets the stage for the first consistent comparisons of environmental sustainability across different energy technologies in future.”

“Land Resources for Wind Energy Development Requires Regionalized Characterizations” by Tao Dai et al was published in Environmental Science and Technology
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c07908

Further reading from the same research team:
“The life cycle land use of natural gas-fired electricity in the US Western interconnection” by Tao Dai et al was published in Environmental Science: Advances
DOI: 10.1039/D3VA00038A

The research was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Fracking the future: how Congolese oil extraction has shaped its history and its fate

2024-04-17
In 1969, the recently independent Republic of Congo discovered an enormous oil field off its coast. The find represented both a rare opportunity for the burgeoning nation, and a potential threat – the revenue generated by oil extraction could either pave the way for a stable socialist society, or doom the country to exploitation much like that it had endured under French colonialism. A new paper in Critical Historical Studies, “Enclosed Futures: Oil Extraction in the Republic of Congo,” demonstrates ...

Paper: To understand cognition—and its dysfunction—neuroscientists must learn its rhythms

Paper: To understand cognition—and its dysfunction—neuroscientists must learn its rhythms
2024-04-17
It could be very informative to observe the pixels on your phone under a microscope, but not if your goal is to understand what a whole video on the screen shows. Cognition is much the same kind of emergent property in the brain. It can only be understood by observing how millions of cells act in coordination, argues a trio of MIT neuroscientists. In a new article, they lay out a framework for understanding how thought arises from the coordination of neural activity driven by oscillating electric fields—also known ...

First evidence of human occupation in lava tube cave in Saudi Arabia

First evidence of human occupation in lava tube cave in Saudi Arabia
2024-04-17
Recent strides in interdisciplinary archaeological research in Arabia have unveiled new insights into the evolution and historical development of regional human populations, as well as the dynamic patterns of cultural change, migration, and adaptation to environmental fluctuations.  Despite the challenges posed by limited preservation of archaeological assemblages and organic remains in arid environments, these discoveries are reshaping our understanding of the region's rich cultural heritage.  One such breakthrough led by Griffith University’s Australian ...

New data identifies trends in accidental opioid overdoses in children

New data identifies trends in accidental opioid overdoses in children
2024-04-17
The US saw a 22% decline in rates of prescription-opioid overdose related emergency department (ED) visits in children 17 and younger between 2008 and 2019, but an uptick in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Henry Xiang of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, US, and colleagues. The authors also note that rates of pediatric opioid overdoses remain high in many populations. Opioid overdose has been declared a public health emergency in the United States but much of the focus has been on adults. In the new study, researchers analyzed overdoses ...

An international sample of adolescents shows almost 17% experience weight-related bullying online, especially for social media users—with almost 70 percent of Twitter users reporting being bullied

An international sample of adolescents shows almost 17% experience weight-related bullying online, especially for social media users—with almost 70 percent of Twitter users reporting being bullied
2024-04-17
From a survey of about 12,000 adolescents from Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the US, and the UK, about 17 percent of respondents reported experiencing weight-related bullying online, especially users of Twitter and Twitch, according to a study published April 17, 2023 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kyle Ganson from University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues. Screen time and social media use are common among adolescents—and people in general—for entertainment and social connection, though many cons exist, including cyberbullying. Here, Ganson and colleagues investigated weight-related bullying in adolescents across different ...

Humans occupied a lava tube in Saudi Arabia for thousands of years

Humans occupied a lava tube in Saudi Arabia for thousands of years
2024-04-17
A large lava tube in Saudia Arabia provided valuable shelter for humans herding livestock over at least the past 7,000 years, according to a study published April 17, 2024 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mathew Stewart of Griffith University, Brisbane and colleagues. Research in northern Arabia over the last decade has highlighted a diverse Holocene archaeological record. However, the timing of human occupations and their connections with the nearby Levant remain poorly understood, primarily due to poor preservation of organic remains in the region’s arid conditions. To circumvent this problem, Stewart ...

Watching a video could change your attitude to rattlesnakes - though results varied by age, gender, religion and rattlesnake experience

Watching a video could change your attitude to rattlesnakes - though results varied by age, gender, religion and rattlesnake experience
2024-04-17
Watching a video could change your attitude to rattlesnakes - though results varied by age, gender, religion and rattlesnake experience ### Article URL:  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0298737 Article Title: Effects of relational and instrumental messaging on human perception of rattlesnakes Author Countries: USA Funding: The author(s) received no specific funding for this work. END ...

Artificial Intelligence beats doctors in accurately assessing eye problems

Artificial Intelligence beats doctors in accurately assessing eye problems
2024-04-17
The clinical knowledge and reasoning skills of GPT-4 are approaching the level of specialist eye doctors, a study led by the University of Cambridge has found. GPT-4 - a ‘large language model’ - was tested against doctors at different stages in their careers, including unspecialised junior doctors, and trainee and expert eye doctors. Each was presented with a series of 87 patient scenarios involving a specific eye problem, and asked to give a diagnosis or advise on treatment by selecting from four options. GPT-4 scored significantly better in the ...

Ice age climate analysis reduces worst-case warming expected from rising CO2

Ice age climate analysis reduces worst-case warming expected from rising CO2
2024-04-17
As carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere, the Earth will get hotter. But exactly how much warming will result from a certain increase in CO2 is under study. The relationship between CO2 and warming, known as climate sensitivity, determines what future we should expect as CO2 levels continue to climb. New research led by the University of Washington analyzes the most recent ice age, when a large swath of North America was covered in ice, to better understand the relationship between CO2 and global temperature. It finds that while most future warming ...

East coast mussel shells are becoming more porous in warming waters

East coast mussel shells are becoming more porous in warming waters
2024-04-17
Researchers at the American Museum of Natural History have found that over the last 120 years, the porosity—or small-scale holes—in mussel shells along the East Coast of the United States has increased, potentially due to warming waters. The study, which analyzed modern mussel shells in comparison to specimens in the Museum’s historic collection, was published today in the journal PLOS ONE. “Mussels are important on so many levels: they provide habitats on reefs, they filter water, they protect coasts during storms, and they are important commercially as well—I love mussels and I know many other people do, too,” said Leanne Melbourne, ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Human activity: A double-edged sword in the face of drought

Portfolio performance in financial management: apraize, analyze, act.

Landmark Nature Medicine study reports promising new treatment reduces suffering in Sanfilippo syndrome

Membrane protein analogues could accelerate drug discovery

Berkeley Lab researchers advance AI-driven plant root analysis

Cleveland Clinic study shows weight loss surgery cuts risk of heart complications and death in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and obesity

SQUID pries open AI black box

Resiliency shaped by activity in the gut microbiome and brain

Inspired by nature: synthetic nightshade molecule effective against leukemia cells

Promise green hydrogen may not always be fulfilled

Unifying behavioral analysis through animal foundation models

Up to 30 percent more time: Climate change makes it harder for women to collect water

Heart failure in space: scientists calculate potential health threats facing future space tourists in microgravity

Experts offer guidance on talking with children about racism at pediatrician's office

Drugs for HIV and AIDS trialed as brain tumor treatment for first time

Breakthrough in nanoscale force measurement opens doors to unprecedented biological insights

Scientists discover new behavior of membranes that could lead to unprecedented separations

When inflicting pain on others pays off T

The Lancet: Managing gestational diabetes much earlier in pregnancy can prevent complications and improve long-term health outcomes, experts say

New study finds dinosaur fossils did not inspire the mythological griffin

NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg to deliver keynote address at ISSRDC focused on developing a space workforce

Study: Fatigue-management training improved sleep, safety, well-being for Seattle police

Guiding humanity beyond the moon: OHIO’s Nate Szewczyk and students coauthor papers published in “Nature” journals that revolutionize human space biology

Grant supports research to identify barriers to health care for Black women

Scientists at uOttawa develop innovative method to validate quantum photonics circuits performance

New report on community-centered approach to providing vaccine education and resources to persons experiencing homelessness during COVID-19

Government updates race and ethnicity data collection standards: implications and insights

Dr. Vivek S. Kavadi named CEO of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)

Dietary sucrose determines activity of lithium on gene expression and lifespan in drosophila melanogaster

Assessment of CEA, CA-125, and CA19-9 as adjuncts in non-small cell lung cancer management

[Press-News.org] Clearing the air: Wind farms more land efficient than previously thought
Existing roads key to increasing efficiency of wind farms