Elementary: Renewable Energies


Earth, Water, Fire, Air – since time immemorial, humans have made use of the energy potential of the elements. Sustainable energy production is now more important than ever. Photovoltaics and wind power play a key role.

Text Isabel Überhoff

The idea to convert wind into energy is an old one. Windmills have already transformed wind into motion for thousands of years. Sailing ships were, and still are, driven across the oceans by wind power. The use of solar energy also has a long history; one example, of course, is the Olympic Torch – which has traditionally been ignited with a magnifying mirror ever since ancient times. And, the photoelectric principle – the basis of all solar cells – has actually been known since 1839.

Renewable energy is on the rise worldwide.Energy production from solar modules and wind turbines in particular is booming. In 2018, the total capacity of all solar panels worldwide amounted to 485,826 megawatts, and the capacity of (onshore and offshore) wind turbines totaled 563,726 megawatts.

In modern times, wind and solar power as energy sources have taken on a special significance: The two important “renewables” are expected to make a decisive contribution toward ensuring that the exponentially increasing global energy demand does not lead to the downfall of humans and the environment in the near future. Today, the wind and solar energy industries worldwide are correspondingly important growth markets and economic factors. With high-quality tape solutions for the production of solar modules and wind turbines, tesa also places its faith in the future of renewable energies.

"In addition to applications for rotor blade manufacturing and especially resistant tapes for the protection against erosion, for example, products for maintenance and care play an increasing role."
Andreas Stein

Business Development Manager Specific Industrial Markets

Rotating Giant

From a distance, they look like toothpicks topped with a fan but, seen from close up, wind turbines are giants. The rotating giants are subjected to a stress test every day and must withstand all weather conditions. At their core are the rotor blades. Therefore, a particular challenge is the industrial design of the “propellers.” Special adhesive tape solutions, such as the multi-functional tesa® ACXplus thereby come into play, e.g. for the mounting of add-on parts to enhance the performance or to reduce noise.

> 65 % of the global investment

in power generation capacities in 2017 has been made in renewable energy.

Source: Renewable energy in numbers (BMWi 2018)

Adhesive tape to reduce noise and for better performance from wind turbine blades.

On the Sunny Side

Like sun flowers that turn their heads to follow the position of the sun, the markets for solar energy adjust to global conditions. Whereas the market development in Europe has been slowing down for years, China has expanded its role as a leader in development and investment. At the same time, smaller countries such as Germany have been increasingly focusing on promising trends such as locally-generated power, building integration, and organic photovoltaics, and thus remain on the sunny side.

With over 130 gigawatts, China has more solar energy capacity than any other country in the world.