Sweden has good conditions for wind power, not least because we have a long coast where the winds are strong. Wind power has grown sharply in recent years and now delivers about 10 percent of the electricity we use in Sweden.
In the past, it was common to take care of the wind’s energy. In Sweden, windmills were a common sight around the country, and at the turn of the century there were about 2,000 windmills only on Öland. From the 19th century steam power went over and the windmills are now taken out of service for a long time, and part of our cultural history is protected by many. Now the wind is back, but in a completely different form. This is because wind energy is renewable and one of the solutions for replacing fossil fuels for power generation and reducing 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 greenhouse gases from electricity generation had been greater. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, 433 GW (Gigawatt = million kilowatts) of wind power was installed at the end of 2015 and a forecast of approximately 500 GW would be available by the end of 2016. By comparison, the Swedish wind power output was 6 GW by the end of 2015 and The whole Swedish effect, all power layers included, was almost 40 GW.
An increasing part of Swedish electricity production
Ten years ago, there were only a few hundred wind turbines in Sweden, at the beginning of 2017 they are more than 3,300. There are wind turbines in large parts of Sweden, especially along the coasts and elsewhere with good winds, and several wind turbines are often built together in a wind farm. Sweden’s largest wind farm is called Lillgrund and lies at sea, a bit south of the Öresund Bridge. It has 48 wind turbines with a total annual output of approximately 330 GWh, GWh, which is approximately as much as a medium-sized hydroelectric power plant.
For a few years, wind power has gone from accounting for an insignificant part of electricity generation to producing more than ten percent of the electricity we use in Sweden. And it’s more, not least because it is decided that support for renewable energy sources will increase.
Germany and Spain are the countries that use most wind power in Europe, calculated in installed power. Wind power in these countries is one third and one sixth of wind power in Europe. The global leader is China, which has over a third of the world’s installed wind power capacity. In Denmark, 40 percent of all electricity generation comes from wind power, which is the highest proportion in the world.
The environmental impact of wind power
Wind power does not release into the environment during operation and leaves no environmentally hazardous waste. In addition, the field can easily be restored. Wind power’s environmental issues are more about negative effects on the landscape image. It can affect nature values in other ways – for example, bird life – and the choice of location is therefore important. When a site is chosen to build wind power, the impact on both natural values and experience values for outdoor life must be weighed in as well as, of course, the impact on surrounding homes.
One possibility is to construct wind turbines at sea, where it blows more often and the wind is stronger. However, it is more expensive to build and maintain wind power at sea than on land.
Larger and more efficient
Wind turbine technology has developed rapidly, with higher turbines and larger, more efficient turbines. By making the wind turbines larger, they can produce significantly more electricity even though the leaves rotate more slowly than on small pieces.
A challenge with wind power is that the wind varies. When it does not blow, the electricity must come from somewhere else. Sweden has unique conditions to handle it without using fossil fuel power plants, as we have a lot of hydro power. Water power is adjustable and the water can be stored in ponds and used for electricity production at times when it is not blowing.
Since 2003, wind power has received financial support through the system of electricity certificates and has made it possible for rapid expansion. The electricity certificate system means that the one who uses a kilowatt hour electricity pays some arrows to the one invested in wind power or other renewable energy. Nowadays, the cost of building wind turbines has decreased. The expansion of wind power slowed slightly in 2016, as it was larger than the demand for electricity certificates.
It takes on average over two and a half years to get permission to construct a wind turbine, among other things to investigate the impact on the environment. The Energy Agency is working to shorten that time to six months.
Did you know that it’s blowing more during the cold part of the year? Wind power therefore produces the best when the electricity is needed most.
Wind Power in Asia
Indonesia as of the biggest population country in Asia realize that vast majority of its population have not enjoy fair electrification. Jokowi and Indonesian Government has promote 35,000 MWatt program. One of the latest development that received many spotlight news is Sidrap Power Project as it is the first wind power energy developed in Indonesia. This project is developed by UPC Renewables as main stakeholder.
Speaking at a press conference with Indonesia Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Brian Caffyn UPC Renewables Chairman said that he was very excited with the development.