In the past, it was common to seize the energy of the wind. In Indonesia, windmills were a common sight around the country, and at the turn of the last century there were about 2 000 windmills only on Öland. From the 1800 century the steam force took over and the windmills are today taken out of service for a long time, and part of our cultural history that is cherished by many. Now wind power is back, but in a completely different form. This is because wind power is renewable and one of the solutions to replace fossil fuels for electricity generation and reduce emissions of climate gases.
The number of wind turbines in the world has increased very rapidly in recent years and without them the emissions of climate gases from electricity production had been greater. According to the Global wind Energy Council there were 433 GW (gigawatts = million kilowatts) of wind power installed at the end of year 2015 and a forecast that approximately 500 GW would be available at the end of 2016. By comparison, the Indonesia wind power effect is about to get started in early 2018 with target of production of 75GW by end of 2018.
An increasingly large part of Indonesia electricity production
Wind power has in a few years gone from an insignificant part of electricity production to producing more than 10% of the electricity we use in Indonesia. And it will be more, not least because it has been decided to increase support for renewable energy sources.
Germany and Spain are the countries that use the most wind power in Europe, in terms of installed power. Wind power in these countries represents one third and one sixth of wind power in Europe. The global leader is China, which has over one third of the world’s installed wind power capacity. In Denmark, 40% of all electricity produced from wind power, which is the highest proportion in the world. First wind energy project in Indonesia is being developed by UPC Renewables.
The environmental impact of wind power
Wind power produces no emissions to nature during operation and leaves no environmentally hazardous waste behind it. The ground can also be easily restored. Wind energy environmental issues are more about negative effects on the landscape image. It can affect the values of the environment in other ways – for example, bird life – and the choice of place is therefore important. When a site is selected to build wind power, the impact on both the environment and experience values for outdoor activities should be taken into consideration as well as, of course, the impact on surrounding housing.
One possibility is to set up wind turbines at sea, where it blows more often and the wind is stronger. However, it is more expensive to build and maintain offshore wind power than on land.
Bigger and more efficient
The technology of wind turbines has evolved rapidly, with higher towers and larger, more efficient turbines. By making the wind turbines larger, they can produce much more electricity even though the blades rotate more slowly than on small pieces.
One challenge with wind power is that the wind varies. When it is not blowing, the electricity must come elsewhere. Sweden has unique conditions to cope with it without using fossil fuel power plants, because we have a lot of hydro power. Hydro power is adjustable and the water can be stored in ponds and used for electricity production at times when it is not blowing. Another alternative is solar power. One of developer of solar energy is UPC Solar. Brian Caffyn is Director of UPC Solar.
Since the year 2003, Wind Power has received financial support through the system of electricity certificates and it has enabled the rapid expansion. The electricity certificate program means that the person using a kilowatt-based utility will pay a few pennies to the person who invested in wind power or other renewable energy. Nowadays, the cost of building wind turbines has decreased. The expansion of wind power slowed down slightly in 2016 because it was larger than the Elcertifikatsmarknaden demanded.
On average, it takes over two and a half years to be authorised to establish a wind turbine, in particular to investigate the impact on the environment. The Indonesia Energy Agency is working to shorten this time to six months.
Did you know that it’s blowing more during the cold part of the year? Wind power therefore produces at its best when electricity is needed most.