A team of engineers from the University of Zaragoza believes it is "technically viable and economically reasonable" for wind energy to account for 30% of Spain's overall energy production.
A report by two researchers from the University of Alcalá (UAH) and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), meanwhile, says the number of jobs generated by this sector in the European Union has increased by 226% since 2003.
"Nowadays, wind farms supply around 12% of the electric energy produced in Spain, but by 2030 this could rise to 30%", José Luis Bernal, of the Department of Electric Engineering of the University of Zaragoza and co-author of a study published recently in the journal Energy Policy, tells SINC.
His team has developed its own calculation method based on the amounts of energy contributed by various sources. The results show that an energy mix, with wind energy providing 30%, solar energy 20% and gas turbines a further 20% (10%-15% biogas and 5%-10% natural gas), is technically and economically viable in Spain. The remainder would be made up of hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass energy (20% between the three) and energy from carbon power plants (10%), which should apply CO2 capture techniques in order to reduce their impact on global warming.
The proposal factors in the issue of wind turbines potentially standing still when there is wind, looks to a contribution by fossil fuels of less than 20% and does not consider the use of nuclear energy. "According to our calculations, the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) could be maintained at between 5.5 and 6.1 Euro cents", says Bernal.
The study shows that wind parks were already providing around 10% of Spain's electricity in 2007 (260 TWh), when their energy generation capacity increased by 33.2%, going from 11.63 GW in January to 15.5 GW by December that year. This growth trend has held steady until the present day, both in terms of the megawatts produced and in generation of employment.
Favourable winds for employment
In 2008, wind energy provided around 104,000 jobs in the European Union, according to a report, also published in Energy Policy, by Maria Isabel Blanco, from the University of Alcalá (UAH) in Madrid, and Glória Rodrigues, from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "This is an increase of 226% in comparison to 2003", the authors tell SINC.
The study shows that generation of this energy provides direct employment for 38,000 people in Germany, 20,500 in Spain and 17,000 in Denmark, the three major producing countries in the EU. Manufacturers of turbines and their components account for the largest number of jobs created, which are taken mostly by men (who account for 78%), as is generally the case in industrial production chains.
The report, based on a survey carried out among the leading companies in the sector, shows that a new market linked to wind energy is arising in Europe, with France, Italy, Ireland and Portugal also playing an active role. However, despite these dynamic developments, there is "a lack of specialists, project managers, engineers and operation and maintenance experts" for the wind farms. In order to resolve this situation, the study calls for measures to be put in place to educate workers and boost their mobility.
Ghassan Zubi, José L. Bernal-Agustín, Ana B. Fandos Marín. "Wind energy (30%) in the Spanish power mix—technically feasible and economically reasonable". Energy Policy 37 (8): 3221ჼ, 2009.
Maria Isabel Blanco y Glória Rodrigues. "Direct employment in the wind energy sector: An EU study". Energy Policy 37 (8): Energy Policy 37 (8): 2847-2857, 2009.
SINC | EurekAlert!
Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research