Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spanish wind power blows nuclear away

It is often pointed out by the nuclear power fetishists and the coal-power aficionados, that renewable energy is variable because it relies on the winds or sunny weather depending on your source.

So variable, in fact, that last week in Spain the winds generated more energy than did Spain's nuclear power plants, and more energy than that glorious country's coal-powered electricity plants. :::[The Age]

Taking advantage of a particularly gusty period, Spain's wind energy generators this week reached an all-time high in electricity production, exceeding power generated by all other means, the nation's electricity network authority said in a statement.

At 5.40pm (0340 AEDT on Tuesday) on Monday, wind power generation rose to contribute 27 per cent of the country's total power requirement, Red Electrica said.

At that moment wind power contributed 8,375 mega watts to the nation's power consumption of 31,033.

Nuclear power, the second largest contributor, added 6,797 mega watts, while coal-fired electric generation came third with 5,081, the statement said.

Wow. Something in the paella that day?

Taking a longer outlook, last year wind power only contributed 9% of the country's annual total, but this last week does show the potential. It strikes me that global warming is only going to create more wind, because that is what happens when you heat-up large bodies of air. Is it possible that wind power may come into its own as the globe heats up?

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