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Über dieses Buch

The present book maximizes reader insights into the current and future roles to be played by different types of renewable energy sources and nuclear energy for the purpose of electricity generation in the European region as a whole and in a select group of European countries specifically. This book includes detailed analysis of the different types of renewable energy sources available in different European countries; the pros and cons of the use of the different types of renewables and nuclear energy for electricity generation; which energy options are available in the different European countries to expand their energy sector in the coming years; the impact on the climate and the environment; levels of production and consumption and the level of electricity generated by these energy sources, amongst others.

Designed to inform government officials, economists, scientists and the private and public power industry of the key issues surrounding the future role of different renewable energy sources and nuclear energy in the production of electricity within the European region, this book will also describe in detail the evolution of the electrical energy sector in the chosen European region and the problems that several countries are now experiencing in the face of increasing demand for electricity.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. General Overview

Abstract
It is an undisputed reality that the energy production, particularly the electricity generation and their sustained growth, constitutes indispensable elements to guarantee the progress of any country. In other words, the energy constitutes the motive force of the civilization and it determines, in a high degree, the level of economic and social development of the different countries. The well-being of people, industry, and economy depends on safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable energy. It is expected that 90 % of the increase in the world energy demand during the coming decades will be satisfied with fossil fuels. This means that around 15,300 million tons of oil equivalents will be consumed at world level in 2030 in order to satisfy the foreseeable demand. However, the fastest growing sources of world energy are renewable and in a minor manner nuclear power. The renewable energy source share of total energy use is expected to rise from 11 % in 2010 to 15 % in 2040, an increase of 4 %, and the nuclear share is expected to grow in the same period from 5 to 7 %, an increase of 2 %. Undoubtedly, renewable energy sources are the fastest growing sources of electricity generation during the next two decades, with annual increases averaging 2.8 % per year from 2010 to 2040.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 2. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity Generation

Abstract
Deployment of renewable energy sources has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Various types of government policies, the declining cost of many renewable energy technologies, changes in the prices of fossil fuels, an increase in energy demand, among other factors, have encouraged the continuing increase in the use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity in several countries from all regions. Despite global financial challenges, renewable energy capacity continued to grow rapidly compared to the cumulative installed capacity from the previous year. In 2013, a total of 25.4 GW of new renewable power capacity was installed. Over 72 % of all new installed capacity in the EU were renewable. It is important to highlight that renewable energy sources are expected to be economically competitive with conventional energy sources for electricity generation in the medium to long-term.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 3. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Hydropower for Electricity Generation

Abstract
Hydropower is the major renewable generation technology in Europe today. It delivers storage capacity and stabilizing services for the power system, which are crucial for a high security of supply of electricity. No doubt, hydropower is a mature and cost-competitive renewable energy source and a key component of the energy mix in several EU countries, and it plays a key role in today’s electricity mix in other regions of the world as well. As a multi-functional technology, it is indispensable to the electricity system and will be even more important tomorrow, particularly, when other fossil fuels used today for the generation of electricity will not be sufficient to satisfy the foreseeable energy demand during the coming decades. The importance of a generation technology for the overall system depends mainly on its capability to stabilize fluctuations between demand and supply. Hydropower already contributes to balancing these differences—a function that will be even more valuable in the future.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 4. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Solar Energy for Electricity Generation

Abstract
The massive use of solar energy is limited by the high costs of the solar collector and the photoelectric cells and, for this reason, less competitive than other renewable and non-renewable energy sources available now in the world. In addition, commercial solar modules generally have efficiencies of 15 %, which means about one-sixth of the sunlight striking a module generates electricity. However, solar technologies are appropriate for applications where direct solar radiation is high. The many types of systems under development (including parabolic troughs, power towers, and dish/engine systems) for different markets vary according to the concentration devices, energy conversion methods, storage options, and other design variables. Exploitation of solar energy requires sunlight conditions that are particular to certain regions of the world only. In Europe, the best zones for solar power development plans are in the Mediterranean areas covering Spain, the south of France and Italy.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 5. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Wind Energy for Electricity Generation

Abstract
The energy sector of today faces a triple challenge, how to tackle climate change and meet rapidly increasing demand for energy while ensuring the security of its supply. Wind energy can be a significant part of the answer, if sufficient support and increased political will are applied to its development. The strong development of wind power to date can continue in the coming years as long as the clear commitment of the EU member states to wind power development continues to strengthen, and as long as this support is translated into the construction of wind farms. Undoubtedly, there is a noticeable shift in attitudes toward wind power in many countries. While the technology would have been dismissed as too expensive by many developing country energy planners just a few years ago, the continuing success of the technology in an ever-widening group of countries has changed that attitude to one of the dramatically increased knowledge about wind generation and the role that it can play in a country’s power mix.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 6. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Geothermal Energy for Electricity Generation

Abstract
Geothermal energy is a type of energy stored in the form of heat beneath the surface of the solid earth. The use of geothermal energy depends on the temperature of the geothermal fluid. If this temperature is below 180º, then the most efficient use of the geothermal sources is in domestic heating or for heating the water. If the temperature of the geothermal fluid is 180º or above, then the energy associated with the geothermal fluid can be used for electricity generation. There is no geographical restriction to the exploitation of geothermal energy, as the source is present everywhere. However, some regions benefit from more favorable conditions that allow an earlier development of geothermal resources, under more economical conditions, using current available technology. As a consequence, the majority of the geothermal power plants in Europe are located in Italy, Iceland, and Turkey, where unusually high temperatures at comparatively limited depth dominate.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 7. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Biomass in the Generation of Electricity

Abstract
Biomass is a special source of renewable energy in a number of ways. First, it can directly provide all three types of energy carriers: electricity, heat, and fuel (liquids, solids, and gas). Second, it is easily storable and dispatchable, and when there is not enough sun or wind, biomass-fired generators can be ramped up as need be. Third, the major drawback: Biomass requires strict management to be sustainable. No matter how many solar panels we install, we will not use up the sun any faster, nor will we measurably reduce the amount of wind on Earth if we keep installing wind turbines. But with biomass, we have to avoid resource depletion, prevent monocultures from reducing biodiversity, and ensure that the energy needs of rich countries are not met at the expense of food needs in poor countries.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 8. The Current Situation and Perspectives on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Electricity Generation

Abstract
Nuclear energy was an assured energy source for electricity generation in the European region in 1960s. Between 1960s and 1990s, more than 190 nuclear power reactors were built in the European region, increasing the share of nuclear energy in the energy balance of several European countries. For this reason, nuclear energy was one of the energy sources that during this period contributed significantly to alleviate European energy supply dependency, and it is now an important factor in the reduction of local air pollution and global climate change. Two serious accidents, the first one at Three Mile Island in the USA in 1979 and the second one in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine, the second one with serious consequences for many countries in the European region, stop public support to the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation and led to a scaling back of the nuclear industry in the European region. A third big nuclear accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan in March 2011 increased further the opposition of the public opinion to the use of nuclear energy for the generation of electricity in several European countries. Some of these countries were forced to shut down the oldest nuclear power reactors in operation, to reduce the participation of nuclear power in their energy mix for the coming decades, to shut down all units, to cancel the construction of new nuclear power reactors or to prohibit the use of this type of energy sources for the generation of electricity in the future.
Jorge Morales Pedraza

Chapter 9. Conclusion

Abstract
Renewable energy is the fastest growing source for the generation of electricity in the IEO (2013) report. According to this report, annual increases in the use of renewables for electricity generation are expected to be 2.8 % per year from 2010 to 2040. In particular, non-hydropower renewable resources are the fastest growing sources of new generation during that period, in both OECD and non-OECD regions. Non-hydropower renewables, which accounted for 4 % of the generation market in 2010, are expected to increase their share of the market to 9 % in 2040, with much of the growth coming from wind and solar generation. Strong growth in offshore wind capacity is under way, with 883 MW added to the grid in 2010, representing a 51 % increase over the amount of capacity added in 2009 (EWEA, European Wind Energy Association and the EU, 2011). In 2013, offshore saw a record growth, adding 1.6 GW new capacities. However, the outlook for 2014 and 2015 is expected to be stable without any new capacity planned to be installed (EWEA 2013). On the other hand, one of the alternatives that several European countries have to satisfy the foreseeable increase in the electricity demand is the use of nuclear energy for the generation of electricity. For this reason, nuclear energy will be part of the energy mix of several European countries.
Jorge Morales Pedraza
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