Introduction to Wind Energy Mix
This is the third article in the course series on Basics of Wind Power Plants. This article discusses wind energy mix of the wind power in the global energy market.
Where does electricity out of the socket originate from? This question can be answered more easily by considering electrical energy mixes, i.e. proportions of primary energy sources such as carbon, uranium, gas, wind, water and geothermal making up the total supply of electrical energy.
We have prepared some charts indicating contemporary energy mixes. To safeguard their energy supply, industrial nations such as Germany are striving for durable energy mixes. One objective in this process is to preserve and improve ecological, economic and social conditions.
Global Wind Energy Mix in 2009 and 2013
The charts provided next permit a comparison between energy mixes currently employed in Germany, the USA, France and China. The charts below show the wind power installed worldwide from 2009 to 2013. Within these four years, wind power installations nearly doubled.
Energy mix in Germany
The chart here indicates Germany’s aspiration for a balanced energy mix. Brown and hard coal each have a share of 20 – 25%, nuclear energy follows with 15%. Roughly 8% of electricity generated comes from wind energy, followed by photovoltaics and hydropower. The share of renewables in Germany is 23.9%.
Energy mix in the US
This chart shows that 68.6% of the United States’ requirements for electricity are covered by fossil fuels, and a fifth by nuclear energy. Renewable energies have a share of 10%, wind power being the main constituent here, while photovoltaics only play a marginal role.
Energy mix in France
A comparison between the French and American energy mixtures reveals that nuclear energy at 73.3% is responsible for the lion’s share of electricity generation in France. Fossil fuels are correspondingly less important. Renewable energies – including wind energy – make up a proportion of 17.4%.
Energy mix in China
The chart here shows that coal serves to generate three quarters of China’s electricity; hydroelectric power installations here represent 17.4%. Photovoltaics and wind power presently constitute 0.07% and 2% respectively. Renewable energy sources in total make up a share of approximately 20%.
Energy mix of the future
Due to the diversity of available energy sources, the energy mix of the future cannot be accurately predicted. However, regenerative energy sources, particularly wind, are certain to gain significance and will probably replace fossil energy sources like coal and gas in the long run. Nonetheless, regenerative energy alone will not be sufficient in future, long-term energy mix strategies, whose decisive criteria include not only environmental compatibility, but also economy and dependable supply.
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