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Wind remains central among renewable technologies

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The numbers remain theoretical: they are calculated on the basis of the maximum generation potential of the plants under ideal conditions, while the real energy production can be much lower, given the variability of winds and atmospheric conditions. But even considering these variables, the production of wind energy with on-shore plants is becoming an increasingly important source in many states: in 2020, thanks to 24.6 billion dollars in infrastructure investments, the additional capacity reached a value record of 16,836 megawatts. The growth in investments is also due to significant tax incentives, accompanied by technological advances that make the new plants more efficient. Compared to the old turbines, the latest models have taller towers and longer blades, and can thus produce more energy managing to reach higher and more powerful winds. Last year, according to data from the Department of Energy, some states managed to support about half of their energy needs thanks to wind power. Iowa, for example, leads the ranking with 57% of energy generated by wind, thanks to the numerous plants present and a fairly low population density. Other states, like Texas, use it as a backup source on spring and fall evenings, when the wind picks up on a regular basis around the same time each day. The crux still remains the technologies for storage, still very expensive and which do not guarantee a constant supply of energy, which is why the support of non-renewable sources remains necessary. For this year, in the meantime, offshore platform development initiatives are multiplying, the foundations of which were laid in 2020 but which are not yet operational. There is talk of a potential of 35,324 additional megawatts, 24% more. The Biden administration’s goal is to reach 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 to reach the goal of totally carbon-free energy production by 2035, a goal shared by many other countries, which are confident in evolution. technology of the sector to guarantee ever greater efficiency to its plants. In early 2021 Denmark signed a £ 25 billion agreement to build an artificial island 50 miles (80km) off the coast, in the middle of the North Sea. As large as 18 football fields, it should be able to provide 3 million families with clean energy in the early stages (but not before 2033). Germany is already ahead: in 2020 the energy generated and put into the grid thanks to renewables was 47% (5% compared to 2019), with wind power responsible for a quarter of total production, exceeding by far coal. And while it plans to decommission all coal-fired plants by 2038, it has also decided not to go the nuclear path. “Reactors without risk and fueled with nuclear waste are a beautiful fairy tale” commented the Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze “we should rather begin to see photovoltaic panels on every roof”.

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