Wind energy is the energy obtained from the wind. It is one of the oldest energy resources exploited by humans and is today the most mature and efficient energy of all renewable energies. The term “wind” comes from the Latin “aeolicus”, pertaining to or related to Eolo, God of the winds in the Greek mythology.
HOW DOES WIND POWER WORK?
Wind energy consists of converting the energy produced by the movement of the blades of a wind-driven wind turbine into electrical energy.
BENEFITS OF WIND ENERGY
Wind energy is a source of renewable energy, it does not pollute, it is inexhaustible and it reduces the use of fossil fuels, origin of the greenhouse emissions that cause the global warming. In addition, wind energy is an autochthonous energy, available in virtually the entire planet, which contributes to reducing energy imports and creating wealth and employment locally.
Therefore, the production of electricity by means of wind power and its use efficiently contribute to sustainable development.
Of all these advantages, it is important to note that wind energy does not emit toxic substances or air pollutants, which can be very harmful to the environment and to the human being. Toxic substances can acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and corrode buildings. Air pollutants can trigger heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Wind energy does not generate waste or water pollution, a very important factor taking into account the scarcity of water. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water footprints, making it a key to water resources preservation.
Summary of wind power benefits
Energy that renews itself
Reduce the use of fossil fuels
Reduce energy imports
Generates wealth and local employment
Contributes to sustainable development
Wind energy remains the most efficient technology to produce energy in a safe and environmentally sustainable way: no emissions, indigenous, inexhaustible, competitive and creating wealth and employment.
HOW MANY ELECTRICITY IS CREATED FROM THE WIND EVERYWHERE?
Wind energy currently supplies more than 3% of global electricity consumption and is expected to exceed 5% by 2020. In the longer term (2040), the International Energy Agency forecasts that wind energy could cover 9% of global electricity demand and more than 20% in Europe.
Wind energy represents approximately 80% of the electricity produced by the ACCIONA group annually. In 2014, the company produced from the wind a total of 17,482 gigawatt hours (GWh), equivalent to the consumption of about five million people. By geographic areas, 60% of wind production was destined to the Spanish market, with 10,378 GWh, while 40% corresponded to other countries: the United States (2,278 GWh), Mexico (2,174 GWh), Australia (932 GWh) , Canada (516 GWh), Portugal (417 GWh), Italy (239 GWh) and India (226 GWh) as the main markets.
WHAT COUNTRIES ARE LEADERS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF WIND ENERGY WORLDWIDE?
The wind power installed in the world at the end of 2015 exceeded the 400,000 installed MW, according to provisional estimates of the consultancy Navigant_BTM, which predicts that it will grow more than 40% until 2019, when it will surpass 600,000 MW.
Spain has been one of the pioneer countries and leaders in the use of the wind to produce electricity. Thirty years after installing the first wind turbine in the country, Spain was the first country in the world where wind power was the main source of electricity generation for a whole year (in 2013, with 20.9% of production total), which also places it as a very advanced country in the technological solutions that allow its network integration.
Although wind power has slowed down in recent years, Spain still has 23,000 MW installed at the end of 2015, the second largest wind farm in Europe after Germany (43,723 MW), and the fifth in the world behind China (138,060 MW), USA. (71,000 MW) and India (25,219 MW), according to the consultant’s estimates.
* Source of infographics data: Global Wind Statistics 2011 (GWEC), BTM, REE. (Data for 2011)