Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Key issues for the future of wind energy

09.09.2009
The prestigious journal Energy Policy has recently reported two studies that highlight some key issues for the future of wind energy in Spain.

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.

References:

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!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer IFAM

nachricht IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Sea ice hit record lows in November

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips

07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>