What impact do windmills have on the rotation of the Earth?

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There are lots of windmills popping up all over the world. Part of this new alternative energy movement. I was just wondering if they have any impact on the rotation of the earth. I imagine one windmill would have no noticeable impact, nor would 1,000. But what if there were millions of these things. Would that make a difference?
Just curious.

9 Comments

  1. If there were millions we will run out of room for other stuff. And that would be a larger impact than any shift in rotation!

  2. windmills will absorb energy associated with air currents, which are derived from solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere. This has nothing to do with the rotational kinetic energy bound by the earths angular momentum.
    The answer is no impact.

  3. It doesn’t really have any effect on the rotation of the earth because storms dont have an effect on it so we could conclude that windmills which are a 1000 times weaker than storms have no effect at all.

  4. Neglegible, I would guess. They obviously experience a force, and it comes from the wind. So if you average the direction they’re all pointing (I’d guess West) I’d say they’re speeding it up; I guess. Did I mention neglegible? Global warming will have a bigger impact by redistributing water from the poles to the equator (larger angular momentum, slower)

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