New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain

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Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent of all electricity demand in Spain. Spain’s wind power generation equaled that of hydropower for the first time in 2007.

In July the government approved legislation that will allow offshore wind parks to be set up along the nation’s vast coastline in an effort to boost the use of renewable energy sources. While more expensive than land-based wind farms, offshore wind parks can take advantage of stronger, steadier coastal breezes.

Spain, which along with Germany and Denmark, is among the three biggest producers of wind power in the 27-nation European Union, is aiming to triple the amount of energy it derives from renewable sources by 2020.

Comments

  1. says

    I think that’s incredible…it doesn’t have to be 40% all the time for it to be a huge victory for the viability of wind power. I’ve always been intrigued about the implications of taking energy out of nature (in this case the wind) and putting it into the grid, you know, “energy cannot be created or destroyed…only change forms” so is there potential for impacting the tides or anything for lack of energy in the wind or is the scale nowhere near having that impact? Just curious.

    Anyway, I linked over to you from my forums – hope you don’t mind: http://greenhome.huddler.com/forum/thread/191/positive-uplifting-green-facts#link_post_513

  2. says

    Truly wonderful Spanish achievement. US President and his government could be deeply ashamed.
    I think, that the capacity of renewable energy sources is far to huge, that we could destroy the energy balance and flow in nature, as we had managed to achieve with chemical and other waste extensive pollution.

  3. John Johnson says

    Some at treehugger.com brought up this same question and I went ahead and did the math. Someone commented that the amount of energy taken by wind turbines would be so small – “like piss in the ocean”. Here what I found:

    TOTAL EARTH ENERGY ABSORPTION FROM SUN:
    173,000,000 gigawatts

    TOTAL WIND (120) and SOLAR (5) GENERATION:
    125 gigawatts

    So….we’re taking out about 1/millionth of the energy out, which is way more than I expected and would be really big piss in the ocean. If we increased power generation 1000 fold over the next century, we would be harvesting 1/1000 of the total energy the earth gets from the sun. Below are the sites where I got the information.
    —John

    http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/1425chap4.htm
    http://earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/277
    http://www.taipeitradeshows.com.tw/presscenter/news_view.shtml?docno=2278

  4. Uncle B says

    How many battery/plugin cars could have had a free charge that night, and more! We need a means of buffering and ballasting the intermittent nature of these power sources. Plug-in cars and trucks make sense, computers can give us an average so we know how many we need! How about dams with heads of water? Now, we talk of adding urine to electrolytes to recover huge amounts of storable fuel grade hydrogen from smaller amounts of electricity, another power storage scheme, but until we really feel the absence of the ever- convenient petroleum and its wonderful assurance of instant heat and power over the last century we will remain stand-offish about alternative power systems and investment in them.

  5. Duncan says

    Baloney.

    Since most power produced is lost to transmission, saying that wind production equaled 40% of consumption is comparing apples to oranges.

    What percentage of power production was the wind for that brief time frame in the middle of the night, 15%? Did wind constitute as much at 10% of production from Friday to Sunday?

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