Caldeira Lab Research:Energy, Global Carbon Cycle, and Climate

Global Assessment of High-Altitude Wind Power

Cristina L. Archer & Ken Caldeira

An analysis of the possible application and utilization of high altitude winds located greater than 500m in the atmosphere. Prior to now, the application of these jet streams and their possibility as a resource for power had not been investigated. This analysis is based on data gathered over a period of nearly three decades.

Ken Caldeira

Archer, C.L., and K.Caldeira., 2009. Global Assessment of High-Altitude Wind Power, Energies, 2(2), 307-319; doi:10.3390/en20200307.


The available wind power resource worldwide at altitudes between 500 and 12,000 m above ground is assessed for the first time. Twenty-eight years of wind data from the reanalyses by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Department of Energy are analyzed and interpolated to study geographical distributions and persistency of winds at all altitudes. Furthermore, intermittency issues and global climate effects of large scale extraction of energy from high-altitude winds are investigated.