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!
The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells
17.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles
17.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine