Wind vs. Biofuels: Addressing Climate, Health and Energy
Professor Mark Jacobson
The favored approach today for addressing global warming is to promote a variety of options: biofuels, wind, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear energy and to improve efficiency. However, by far, most emphasis has been on biofuels. It is shown here, though, that current-technology biofuels cannot address global warming and may slightly increase death and illness due to ozone-related air pollution. Future biofuels may theoretically slow global warming, but only temporarily and with the cost of increased air pollution mortality. In both cases, the land required renders biofuels an impractical solution. Recent measurements and statistical analyses of U.S. and world wind power carried out at Stanford University suggest that wind combined with other options can substantially address global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy needs simultaneously.