Wind power is the energy obtained from the wind. It is one of the oldest-exploited energy sources by humans and today is the most seasoned and efficient energy of all renewable energies.
Wind power consists of converting the energy produced by the movement of wind turbine blades driven by the wind into electrical energy.
Wind energy is a source of renewable energy. It does not contaminate, it is inexhaustible and reduces the use of fossil fuels, which are the origin of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming. In addition, wind energy is a “native” energy, because it is available practically everywhere on the plant, which contributes to reducing energy imports and to creating wealth and local employment.
For these reasons, producing electricity through wind energy and its efficient use contributes to sustainable development.
Wind energy does not emit toxic substances or contaminants into the air, which can be very damaging to the environment and to human beings. Toxic substances can acidify land and water ecosystems, and corrode buildings. Air contaminants can trigger heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases like asthma.
Wind energy does not generate waste or contaminate water—an extremely important factor given the scarcity of water. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water-consumption footprints, which makes it a key for conserving hydrological resources.
Wind power is the most efficient technology to produce energy in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner: it is zero emissions, local, inexhaustible, competitive and it creates wealth and jobs.
Wind energy currently supplies around 2.5% of global electricity consumption. The industry projections show that, with the support of an adequate policy, the capacity will double in 2015 and again at the end of this decade.
Wind energy is present in a total of 79 countries; 24 of them have more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) installed. In terms of megawatt accumulation, the five main markets are China, USA, Germany, Spain and India.
Spain has been one of the pioneering countries and leaders in exploiting wind to produce electricity. Thirty years after installing the first wind turbine in the country, Spain has achieved becoming the first country in the world in which wind energy is the main source of electricity for an entire year (2013, with 20.9% of total production), which also establishes it as an advanced country in technological solutions that allow integrating wind energy into the grid. With nearly 23,000 MW installed at the close of 2013, Spain is the second-most European country in operating wind energy after Germany (34,250 MW), and the fourth in the world, after China (91,424 MW) and the USA (61,091 MW) (GWEC data).
ACCIONA Energy is a global leader in the development, construction, operation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 20 years of experience. It carries out projects for the company and for third parties all around the world.