What is wind energy?

Wind energy

At the moment, wind energy is playing a key role in the energy transition as a leading technology to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Wind energy is harnessed from moving air, and it has been used for thousands of years, whether it was to propel the first sailboats or to spin the blades on a windmill. This is a type of kinetic energy that is generated from air currents and that can be transformed into electricity through an electric generator. It is a renewable energy source that is inexhaustible and non-polluting.

What types of wind energy are there?

There are two types of wind energy depending on where it is generated: the onshore wind energy production model, and offshore wind energy, which uses turbines installed at sea.

Onshore wind turbines

Onshore wind energy

When we are driving, it is common to see windmill-like structures. These are called wind turbines and, as we saw before, they are responsible for generating electrical energy using the force of the wind. Likewise, wind farms are facilities made up of a group of high-power wind turbines connected to the power grid. They are located in places that usually have a sufficient amount of wind, such as large steppes or coastal areas.

As part of onshore wind energy, it is also worth mentioning, which, generally, is intended for. Micro-wind energy is harnessed through wind turbines with power lower than 100 KW. As such, they are small-scale structures that are usually used in isolated areas and far from the power grid, such as country houses, nature reserves or alpine refuges. These installations are complemented by solar energy, resulting in wind-solar hybrid systems.

Offshore wind turbine

Offshore wind energy

Offshore wind energy is produced in a very similar way to onshore energy: by using wind turbines that harness the force of the wind to produce electricity. The only difference is that for offshore energy the wind turbines are installed in the middle of the ocean to take advantage of the powerful winds that blow offshore.

In the middle of the ocean, the wind is uninterrupted and more regular. This makes offshore wind more productive than onshore wind, as it is stronger and hits the turbine blades with more force.

Discover step by step how wind energy works

 

Wind turbines capture the wind energy to convert it into electrical energy.

  1. The blowing wind spins the blades of the turbine and activate a generator. Turbines have a vane that indicates the direction of the wind and automatically orient them to take full advantage of the energy.
  2. The turbines also a gearbox that increases the rotational speed of the shaft to thousands of revolutions per minute. The resulting kinetic energy is then transferred to the generator which, through magnetic fields, converts it into electric energy.
  3. Finally, the electricity is sent to a converter in the base that transforms it into alternating current, which is then sent to a booster substation. From the booster substation, the energy is then transported to the grid for consumption.

How can wind energy be used and applied?

 

If we look back over history, we can see that wind energy was one of the first sources of energy used by humankind. Today, thanks to technological advances, wind energy has multiple uses and applications.

  • Electrical energy production: Through the use of wind turbines, the wind's kinetic energy can be transformed into mechanical energy and this, in turn, into electrical energy.
  • Pumping water: Wind energy can be used to extract water from the ground using wind pumps, which are turbines capable of pumping up to six hundred liters per hour, which is enough to meet the needs of a small farm.
  • Renewable hydrogen: Wind energy is used to produce the continuous electrical current that is needed to produce renewable hydrogen. This type of hydrogen is used, for example, to produce synthetic fuels or eco-fuels.
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Among the projects promoted by the company in the field of renewable energies, it is worth highlighting Delta 2, a complex comprising 26 wind farms located between the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. This will make it possible to supply electricity to approximately 800,000 households. Also, the renewable electricity generated will avoid the emission of 2.6 million tons of CO2 per year.

Delta 2 joins two other projects based on renewable energy: the Delta wind farm, located between the provinces of Zaragoza and Teruel, with 89 turbines and producing 336 MW; and the PI wind farm, located between Palencia and Valladolid, which will have a total installed capacity of 175 MW; a 204 MW solar farm in Cádiz (Sigma); the Valesolar solar project (Badajoz), with 264 MW; and the Kappa solar farm, with 126.6 MW, located in Ciudad Real.

International projects

At an international level, we signed an agreement with Grupo Ibereólica Renovables, giving us access to a portfolio of renewable projects in operation, under construction or in development in Chile. This amounts to more than 1,600 MW in 2025, with the possibility of exceeding 2,600 MW in 2030.

Furthermore, we acquired 40% stake of Hecate Energy, which represents our first foray into the U.S. renewables market. Thanks to this transaction, we'll have access to an extensive project portfolio totaling more than 40 GW, of which 16.8 GW are solar projects in addition to 4.3 GW of batteries for energy storage.

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Guaranteeing the 100% renewable origin of the electricity we offer with the highest certification

The Spanish National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) awarded us the highest certification – the A label – for the environmentally-friendly origin of the electricity we offer. This makes us the only major retailer, in terms of customers supplied, to be awarded this label for the second year in a row.

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Everything you should know about wind energy

Get all your questions answered about this economical and endless renewable energy.