OT sun and wind question

let's say hypothetically we set up a billion offshore wind turbines and solar panels, positioned to harvest the maximum energy from wind and sun. Each turbine, each solar panel steals a small amount of the natural energy, right?
Would this diminish the energy of wind and sun inland? Could it "use up" the wind and sun energy if we used enough panels and windmills and therefore leave less for everything else?
What I'm trying to get at is, at any particular moment in time is the energy of the wind and sun finite? Or could we harness the complete maximum power of each but still leave enough to perform all of the natural functions like carrying seeds, photosynthesis etc? Would it be impossible to "divert" enough of each to make a difference to everyday life?
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On 11/07/2013 10:15, Mentalguy2k8 wrote:

Well, solar panels over the sea stop sunlight hitting it, preventing photosynthesis and warming so certainly have a local effect. The wind question is meaningless. If you cram enough windmills close enough together they will interfere with each other and not be very efficient, but wind would still blow over the top of them, like it does over a forest, for example. I suppose if you built windmills all the way up to the stratosphere you could significantly affect atmospheric circulation as you would, for that matter, if you covered the planet with housing with its roof at around 10 km.
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On 11/07/2013 10:31, newshound wrote:
8<

I wouldn't rely on that being true. If you stop the wind lower down then there will be less evaporation and less mixing of water vapour in the atmosphere, it would have significant climate change effects.
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On 11/07/2013 14:05, dennis@home wrote:

Good point. Also you won't produce as much of the salt microcrystals which I think are reckoned to be important nucleation sites for clouds. So, fewer clouds, the less solar heat is directly reflected
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On 11/07/13 10:15, Mentalguy2k8 wrote:

Oh yes.
I think someone calculated the sum of tidal solar and wind energy and declared that if populatoin growth continued at its current rate, there wouldn't be enough renewable energy in the whole world to keep them alive beyond 2150 or so.
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JOOI and I'm sure we covered this before;!. Where does all the heat we use and waste go to over time seeing that energy cannot be destroyed ?.
This just heating up the earth which now seems to be debunked or does it just radiate off into space as Infra Red radiation and thats well, that?....
--
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On 11/07/13 11:27, tony sayer wrote:

well exactly.
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On 11/07/2013 10:48, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

And then, we can start to build a Dyson Sphere :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
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Good thing I read the whole thread - I was about to reply with that suggestion.
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On Thursday, 11 July 2013 11:35:36 UTC+1, Andrew May wrote:

I wonder if scotty will get marooned on it.
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On 11/07/2013 11:35, Andrew May wrote:

Rather have a Numatic one....
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Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk

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Is that so? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy#Energy_from_the_Sun
More bollocks fromTurNiP
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On 11/07/2013 17:27, harryagain wrote:

More bollocks from harry. Someone might very well have calculated as TNP posted. Doesn't mean either that it is true, nor that TNP believed it.
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On 11/07/13 18:17, polygonum wrote:

undeed. the key issues was 'if population continues to rise atcurrent rates'
But harry is so worried that people will recognise renewable energy for the fraud that it s, that he has to attack using the wrong methodology.
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On 11/07/13 17:27, harryagain wrote:

Yes harry, that is so.,

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Ineptocracy

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Ah another idiot such as yourself. I hear someone has calculated that the moon is made of green cheese but we don'tmention that in sensible society because it is also obviously so stupid.

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On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 10:48:56 +0100, The Natural Philosopher

IIRC If population growth continued at the current rate we'd run out of food long before 2150.
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(\__/) M.
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The earth receives more solar energy every hour than the human race consumes from all its sources (primarily fossil fuels) in a year. Nothing we can possibly do to tap into that source of power at our current level of technology or energy use requirement can make more than a miniscule blip on the general course of life on earth.
Total wind energy is only a tiny fraction of total solar energy, which drives it of course, but again we can't extract enough of it to make any real difference to the climate. We might manage to slightly slow the average wind speed at turbine height near ground level if we installed enough wind turbines but that wouldn't make a jot of difference to the wind energy at higher altitudes like the jet stream where it can be hundreds of mph.
--
Dave Baker


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On 11/07/2013 11:21, Dave Baker wrote:

By a considerable margin:
173 petawatts (according to that fount of all knowledge, Wiki) - depending on how assessed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget
--
Rod

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On 11/07/2013 10:15, Mentalguy2k8 wrote:

If you cover a field with PV, you can't grow crops there - it does obviously make a difference to photosynthesis in the shadow. But the effect is limited to the shadow. And if you've got it on somewhere you're not trying to grow stuff (buildings, etc), there's no difference.
With wind, yes, it's finite, but that finite number is way bigger than you can hope to affect with some piddly turbines - and even the biggest ones people are putting in now are piddly compared to the size of the atmosphere. So yes, in practice there's enough to not worry about using it up.
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