With the world’s first floating wind farm now generating electricity, it’s only right that other major cities and countries start considering new approaches to generating electricity in more modern and cleaner ways. RS Components reveal just how much space is needed to power cities by wind turbines with this interactive piece.
Other reseachers have estimated (their methods are discussed below) that wind farms have the potential to produce up to 40 times the electricity the world consumes, yet today still provide only 4% of the world’s electricity.
However, improved infrastructure and a wide range of technical improvements have kept prices for wind power in a downward trend. Some predict that by 2040, a third of the needed power will come from wind and solar.
So let’s take a look at how many wind turbines would be needed to power the world’s major cities:
The top 5 cities that will need the most wind turbines for their power:
- Tokyo, Japan needs 10,310 offshore wind turbines
- New York City, USA needs 3,687 offshore wind turbines
- Seoul, South Korea needs 3,644 offshore wind turbines
- Shanghai, China needs 3,304 offshore wind turbines
- Los Angeles, USA needs 1,818 offshore wind turbines
The top 5 cities with the largest offshore areas of wind turbines needed to power them:
- Tokyo, Japan would need 10,620 km2 of space to power the city with wind turbines
- New York City, USA would need 3,797 km2 of space to power the city with wind turbines
- Seoul, South Korea would need 3,752 km2 of space to power the city with wind turbines
- Shanghai, China would need 3,402 km2 of space to power the city with wind turbines
- Los Angeles, USA would need 1,872 km2 of space to power the city with wind turbines
It seems that Asia is the continent most hungry for a renewable energy source, as Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai all come within the top five major cities that take the most space (km2) up of offshore wind farms. But what about the cities that don’t need as much to power them?
The top 5 cities with the smallest offshore areas for the wind turbines needed to power them:
- Milan, Italy would need 244 km2 of offshore space to power the city with wind turbines
- Kuala Lumpur, Singapore would need 293 km2 of offshore space to power the city with wind turbines
- Barcelona, Spain would need 307 km2 of offshore space to power the city with wind turbines
- Mumbai, India would need 355 km2 of offshore space to power the city with wind turbines
- San Francisco, USA would need 373 km2 of offshore space to power the city with wind turbines
The top 5 cities that need the fewest wind turbines to power them:
- Milan, Italy needs 238 offshore wind turbines
- Kuala Lumpur, Singapore needs 286 offshore wind turbines
- Barcelona, Spain needs 299 offshore wind turbines
- Mumbai, India needs 346 offshore wind turbines
- San Francisco, USA needs 363 offshore wind turbines
It may come as a surprise that San Francisco, a major world city, needs the least amount of wind turbines to power its population. Like Mumbai, they both have a large population. Take a look at the interactive graph and see where your nearest major city comes in at and how many wind farms they would need to power their population. For more on how many wind turbines are needed to power the world, visit: RS Components.
Energy consumption of each city was calculated using the population of the city and per capita consumption of the country in which the city is located. The data was taken from the International Energy Agency. The number of turbines needed was computed from the city’s annual energy consumption divided by the amount of power an example turbine can generate in a year. A Siemens capacity 8 MW turbine SG 8.0-167 DD is used as the example turbine. We assumed an offshore wind turbine capacity factor of 41%, taken from European Wind Energy Association. Turbine spacing was calculated on the basis at least seven-rotor diameters between each turbine, as per the UK government recommendation.