La sola energia eolica entro 20 anni potrebbe dare elettricità a tutta la Cina

di Redazione 50

Un team di scienziati ambientali delle Università di Harvard e Tsinghua ha dimostrato l’enorme potenziale dell’energia eolica in Cina. Utilizzando un’ampia serie di dati metereologici e integrando l’offerta del governo cinese di energia e le restrizioni finanziarie per la fornitura di energia eolica, i ricercatori stimano che il vento da solo ha il potenziale per soddisfare le richieste di elettricità del Paese previste per il 2030.

Il passaggio dal carbone e altri combustibili fossili all’energia eolica potrebbe anche ridurre le emissioni di CO2, riducendo l’inquinamento. La relazione è stata pubblicata su Science.

Il mondo è alle prese con la questione di come si fa a fare il passaggio dai combustibili fossili a qualcosa di carbon-free

ha spiegato l’autore Michael B. McElroy, Professore di Studi Ambientali alla Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ( SEAS). La Cina è diventata seconda solo agli Stati Uniti, nella sua capacità di generazione elettrica nazionale da 792,5 gigawatt all’anno, con un atteso futuro incremento annuo del 10% che lo fa essere il maggiore inquinatore mondiale. Quindi, ha aggiunto McElroy:

il vero problema per il mondo è: Quali alternative ci sono per la Cina?

Mentre l’energia eolica attuale è solo lo 0,4% del totale della fornitura di energia elettrica cinese, il Paese sta rapidamente diventando il mercato in più veloce crescita di energia pulita al mondo, dietro solo gli Stati Uniti, Germania e Spagna in termini di capacità installata di impianti eolici esistenti.

Lo sviluppo delle energie rinnovabili in Cina, in particolare del vento, ha ricevuto un forte impulso con il passaggio della legge sulle energie rinnovabili nel 2005, che prevede lo status fiscale favorevole per gli investimenti energetici alternativi. Il governo cinese ha anche istituito un processo di offerta di concessione per garantire un ritorno ragionevole per i progetti eolici di grandi dimensioni.

Per determinare la redditività del vento abbiamo stabilito un percorso basato su un modello economico, integrando il processo di offerta, e calcolato il costo dell’energia in base alla geografia. Usando lo stesso modello abbiamo anche valutato il potenziale totale per l’energia eolica che potrebbe essere realizzato ad un certo livello di costo

ha spiegato il co-autore Xi Lu, uno studente laureato del gruppo McElroy. In particolare, i ricercatori hanno utilizzato i dati meteorologici dal Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation (GEOS) della NASA. Inoltre, hanno assunto che l’energia eolica potrebbe essere prodotta da una serie di turbine da 1,5 megawatt nelle zone non-boschive, senza ghiacci, nelle aree rurali con una pendenza non superiore al 20%.

Portando la capacità della scienza atmosferica nello studio di energia siamo stati in grado di visualizzare la risorsa eolica in un contesto globale

ha spiegato il co-autore P. Chris Nielsen, direttore esecutivo della Harvard China Project. L’analisi ha indicato che una rete di turbine eoliche che operano in appena il 20% della loro capacità nominale potenzialmente sono in grado di fornire più di 24,7 petawatt-ora di elettricità all’anno, o più di 7 volte il consumo di corrente della Cina. I ricercatori hanno inoltre stabilito che l’energia eolica da sola, a circa 7,6 centesimi di dollaro per kilowatt-ora, potrebbe accogliere la domanda del Paese intero di energia elettrica prevista per il 2030.

Per soddisfare la crescente domanda di elettricità durante i prossimi 20 anni, la Cina sarebbe in procinto di costruire centrali a carbone in grado di produrre l’equivalente di 800 gigawatt di energia elettrica, con conseguente potenziale aumento di 3,5 gigatonnellate di CO2 l’anno. L’uso dell’energia eolica pulita potrebbe soddisfare entrambe le esigenze future e, anche se utilizzata soltanto per integrare le fonti energetiche esistenti, ridurre significativamente le emissioni di carbonio.

Un futuro con energia che non produce carbonio richiederebbe per la Cina un investimento di circa 900 miliardi di dollari (ai prezzi correnti). Gli scienziati ritengono questo un grande investimento, ma non irragionevole, date le dimensioni attuali dell’economia cinese. Inoltre, qualunque sia la fonte di energia, il Paese avrà bisogno di costruire e sostenere una rete estesa di energia per soddisfare il previsto aumento della domanda di potenza.

Fonte: [Sciencedaily]

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