Denmark and UK
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems has dropped plans to build a factory in Britain after no orders were been signed for the turbines that were to be produced there, dealing a blow to the country's wind energy sector.
Skycon, which employs about 450 people in Denmark and the UK, today announced it has filed for suspension of payments to creditors because the economic downturn has left it "cash-strapped".
It is closing four plants in Denmark and one in Sweden, including one in Viborg where it has been manufacturing since 1989. The factory moves follow Vestas' decision to move production of turbines away from the UK last year, when it closed its Isle of Wight facility.
To green campaigners, it is windfarm heaven, generating a claimed fifth of its power from wind and praised by British ministers as the model to follow. But amid a growing public backlash, Denmark, the world's most windfarm-intensive country, is turning against the turbines.
Danish company Vestas Windsystems, the owners of a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have fenced off the entrance to the site, where about 25 staff are on the third day of a sit-in. ...The company said the factory was being closed next week due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe. ...
A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the plant made blades for the US market which were not the right specification for onshore or offshore wind farms in the UK.
Hundreds of workers at one of the south's flagship companies have today been told they will lose their jobs.
Workers at Vestas, which has plants in Southampton and the Isle of Wight were this morning called into hear the shock news that the company is closing down its operations in the UK.
The economic crisis has slowed the market for wind turbines and has resulted in Vestas expecting to cut jobs.
According to Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel in an initial Q1 report, the company is expected to lay off some 1,900 employees, primarily in Denmark and the United Kingdom.
An emergency meeting was held at Argyll and Bute Council's headquarters in Lochgilphead yesterday to discuss Friday's shock announcement that the Vestas wind-turbine factory at Machrihanish, near Campbeltown, is to close its manufacturing plant in Kintyre with the loss of 92 jobs. ...A council statement said no representative from Vestas attended the meeting, insisting that any talks had to take place at the company's head office in Denmark.
After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.
The nation that leads the world in wind-farm development is going cool on the environmentally friendly source of power.
Since the boom year of 2000, when as many as 748 turbines were erected, the number being built in Denmark has steadily fallen. So far this year, only six new wind turbines have been put up.
While many countries around the world are clamouring to buy Danish wind turbines, Denmark’s government is finding it difficult to convince its own population to accept an increase in the domestic use of the green technology.
Describing turbines as “poorly located, noisy and unsightly”, a number of local authorities, backed by grass-roots campaigners, are rejecting plans for new wind farms.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.