Wind energy and its advantages
What is Wind Energy?
Wind energy has been used since antiquity to move sail-powered boats or drive windmill machinery by moving their blades. Since the early 20th century energy has been produced by way of wind generators. Wind energy moves a propeller and, by way of a mechanical system, it turns the rotor of a generator which produces electrical energy.
Wind generators are usually grouped into facilities called wind farms with a view to achieving a better use of the energy which reduces their environmental impact. The machines have a working life of twenty years.
Advantages of wind energy
WIND POWER AS A STRATEGIC COMMITMENT FOR SPAIN
- Wind energy is an inexhaustible and homegrown source of energy that supplied electricity to 21.9% of Spain in 2020 → electricity equivalent to around 16 million homes.
- The 27,446 MW of wind power installed in Spain are distributed around 1,265 wind farms in more of 1,000 municipalities. → It is a driving force in the rural communities in which it is installed.
- Wind power was the second technology in the 2020 peninsular´s energy mix and the first of capacity installed → it is a key technology in our energy mix.
- Spain is one of the first countries in the world to integrate wind power into the grid → around 13,800 MW of wind power played a part in the adjustment services of the electricity system.
- Spain ranks fifth in the world in terms of wind power installed, after China, the United States, Germany and India, and second in Europe.
- The wind energy sector is key to meeting the European target of 40% of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030.
WIND ENERGY AS A SOURCE OF EMPLOYMENT AND A ROBUST INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
- 30,000 people work in the sector in Spain → Wind energy creates five times more jobs than conventional technologies.
- Jobs in the wind power sector are of high quality and highly stable → of the 30,000 jobs in Spain, 70% are skilled positions
- The Spanish wind energy sector has a strong industrial framework with pioneering companies and global leaders → The wind power industry in Spain has more than 220 manufacturing locations in 16 of 17 regions.
WIND POWER AS AN ECONOMIC BOOST FOR THE COUNTRY
- Wind energy represents 0.35% of Spanish GDP.
- The wind power industry exports technology worth around 2,062 million euros per year.
- The wind power sector has a robust chain of value that has led Spain to become the third largest exporter of wind turbine generators in the world.
- Spain ranks sixth in the world and third in Europe in terms of wind power patents: around 108 million euros are invested by the sector each year in R&D.
WIND ENERGY AS A GUARANTEE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
- Wind power does not pollute and curbs depletion of fossil fuels, helping to slow climate change → wind power avoids the import of 10.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE)
- It is a leading technology in terms of preventing CO2 emissions → Wind power avoided the emission of 29 million tonnes of CO2
- The electricity generated by wind power saved Spain around 1,819 million euros in 2019 in import of fossil fuels.
WIND POWER AS A SOURCE OF CHEAP ENERGY
- Lower electricity prices as a result of the displacement of more expensive combustion technologies on the market
- Wind power generation in 2020 has been a benefit for Spanish consumers, specially for industrial consumers. For an average consumer with Tariff AT1 and a consumption of 1,500 MWh per year, the savings throughout 2020 have been € 7,886 (discounting the incentives for wind power included in their electricity bill). In other words, if the existing 27,446 MW of wind power had not been put into operation, electricity would have cost € 7,886 more per year. In total, wind power generated a saving (once incentives were discounted) for electricity consumers of 71 million euros
- The use of wind power instead of fossil fuels has meant savings for the system valued at 25,035 million euros in the period 2012-2019, due to the reduction in the price of the electricity market pool