The past few days in Western Europe have been windy, very windy. While this makes the somewhat cold weather colder, the thousands of wind turbines scattered in various countries generate a lot of electricity.
Here is a selection of facts :
If I noted in October that Ireland gets around a fifth of its electricity from renewables, the country got over half of its electricity from wind energy for a whole weekend, with a peak of two thirds.
Here is a screen capture of the Irish grid operator, EirGrid. It represents the electricity demand (in red) and the wind power generation of Sunday, January 11th :
The Irish wind power capacity had grown recently as it is now 2.8 GW (as of November 2014, IWEA) for a population of 4.5 million.
Furthermore, the wind gushing heavily over the Netherlands generated 21.3% of the electricity demand during the weekend. The country had 2.7 GW of capacity by the end of 2013 for a population of 16.3 million.
In Germany,over half of the electricity was generated by wind and solar power as Kees van der Leun reported on his Twitter account.
Denmark also banked heavily on this cheap energy source since the 1970s oil shocks and it is not unusual for the country to have all its electrcity provided by wind during the nights.
But last year was a landmark as nearly 40 percent of the electricity consumed during the whole year was provided by wind. The Danish Wind Industry Association notes on its website that in 2013 that share was of 33.2% and in 2012 was of 30 %. This is a ten points increase in two years ! Denmark got a 4.7 GW capacity for a population of 5.6 million people.
To conclude this article, the European Union is not the only one to take advantage of the wind as American Wind Energy Association noted on its Twitter that this energy source saved a billion dollar in just two days during the polar vortex.
— American Wind Energy (@AWEA) January 9, 2015