Wind turbines should not be fixed to domestic rooftops – according to a supplier of the devices.
Peter Osborne, managing director of FutureEnergy, told delegates at yesterday’s Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo: “We are not in the habit of turning away business but we do believe in ethics.”
Power-generating wind turbines will soon have to comply with tough new technical standards to ensure they can withstand typhoons, lightning strikes and other extreme weather conditions.
Wind-power generation is a major pillar in the government's push to use alternative energy sources to fight global warming. In recent years, however, storms have caused extensive damage to many wind turbines.
International standards drawn up in Europe are not sufficient to protect wind turbines from Japan's weather patterns, according to officials of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, an arm of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Turning algae into fuel?
Building a windmill on Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay? Setting wind turbines miles off the Virginia Beach coast?
The ideas might sound futuristic, but they are the primary alternative-energy projects that the state will support with $1.5 million in research grants, to be awarded next week.
But the cylindrical turbine hardly resembled fanlike conventional ones.
"Everybody expects it to have propellers," the 52-year-old Watkins said. "People don't recognize it."
It not only looked different on the outside, but also on the inside. It lacked the gears that many traditional wind turbines have, he said. Watkins' design transformed the energy from the spinning blades directly into electricity.
The proceeds from the authority sale will be used to prepay for power from the Windy Point/Windy Flats Project, a 114- turbine wind-energy farm in Washington state. The Pasadena-based authority is purchasing the electricity on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city of Glendale.
Tiny nuclear reactors originally designed to power mini-submarines could eventually replace wind power in a local firm's plans for storing energy as compressed gas in pipelines across North America.
Dave McConnell, president and CEO of Niskubased Lancaster Wind Systems, said Tuesday the additional details of his project can now be discussed after provisional patent protection was gained in the U.S. late last week.
Some onshore windfarms are falling woefully short of their electricity generating targets, throwing into doubt Government targets of having about 15% of the nation’s energy coming from wind by 2020.
Research by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) found onshore windfarms in remote locations only are generating above expectation - typically in the north of Scotland where the cost of linking to the National Grid is far greater.
STUARTS DRAFT — When the sun goes down, the homemade passive solar heater for Richard Murphy's tractor barn shuts off. He's confident that his 1.8 kilowatt wind turbine will pick up the slack.
Thursday afternoon, the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals granted Murphy a special use permit for a 35-foot tower at his aptly named Windy Hill Lane residence.
But Murphy doesn't plan to leave the grid. In fact, his three-blade, 220-volt alternator will feed directly into his breaker box, easing the draw of his all-electric house on his utility meter. When he generates more than he uses, state law insists that the utility buys his surplus.
"I estimate I can cut my electrical bill between 20 and 30 percent," he said. "Payback will happen in about 12 years."
It must be a harrowing time for those who once thought the cool breeze could save us all from the coming ecocide. The expectations of wind advocates have already had to be minimized as they realize there is nothing inherently virtuous about their pet piece of tech. Alas, like recycling fanatics, they are likely to end up praising wind power as a moral enterprise that "instills good habits" and signals "green consciousness," even if the honest cost-benefit analysis goes against them in the long run.
IRISH wind farm operators Airtricity and Swiss engineering giant ABB have completed a study into creating a European 'supergrid' linking national grids to be powered from offshore wind farms. Such a grid - which would cost billions - would carry power to where it is needed.
Gaz Metro, Boralex to harness wind in old Seigneurie; Phase 1 would put 50 wind towers and turbines into 16,000-square-kilometre tract of undeveloped land
"We would like the money (the county gets from windmills) to come back and take care of our county roads out here instead of for Packer Stadium or something," Collins said. "A lot of (county tax revenue) goes to the city."..."They take our taxes but they don't return anything," Kittell said. He said road maintenance and police protection in the rural areas are poor....
"I told him we should get the money back," Collins said. "We have to put up with the windmills."
GWEC figures wind power's capacity in 2005 was about 24%-that is, wind turbines spin 1 hour out of 4, year-round.
That will improve, but slowly. Bigger and taller turbines, in more favorable locations-especially offshore-will make wind turbines more efficient. But it will be a long time before wind power's paper strength starts to be reflected in real electricity generation. GWEC's own figures point to wind power creeping toward 30% efficiency over the next twenty years.
Wind power may be the most mature horse in the renewable-energy stable. But even a thoroughbred is going to have a tough time catching up with the supertanker that is the fossil-fueled energy establishment.
``The problem we're having with all these wind farms is . . . they're proposing to put them in all the worst places," said Thomas W. French , assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. ``If they could do what the Russell Biomass plant did, which is to find a preexisting, historical industrial district, we'd be applauding them." As part of the ongoing state permitting process for the plant, French's division worked with its developers to reroute proposed power lines to reduce their impact on wildlife.
Big machines have been rolling up to Allegheny Mountain for days. Site development work on Virginia's first industrial wind energy plant is expected to start this week.
Passersby report heavy equipment has been parked near the entrance to Red Oak Knob, and blasting heard over the last couple of days. A skidder moved in after dark a few days ago, and trees are being cut near one of the turbine sites; one truck full of logs has already headed out with its load.
Countries must expand the range and availability of alternative sources of energy to reduce global dependence on oil and to help meet growing energy demand, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says.
Bodman said oil and other hydrocarbons alone cannot meet rising demand, much of it coming from fast growing economies in Asia......The energy secretary said the U.S. government has been supporting development of renewable sources such as solar, wind, nuclear and ethanol as well as new technologies such as zero-emission coal plants and hydrogen fuel cells. The U.S. goal is to identify technologies with the greatest marketplace potential in the near future and push them more quickly to market, he said.
Tomorrow will see the inauguration of the world’s largest pilot plant for demonstrating and validating new technology for the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from conventional power stations.
"The general consensus is we will be living in a carbon-constrained world, so it's best to prepare for it," said Rob Hurless, Freudenthal's energy adviser. "If you want to provide power to the California market, there's a clear standard there."
Until there's a quantum leap forward in carbon capture for pulverized coal-fired power plants, America's existing fleet seems destined for a gradual retirement. Just how gradually the plants come off line will depend on how federal climate legislation is crafted.
Industry leaders believe wind could fill up to 20 percent of generation portfolio.
But even wind proponents warn against the notion that it can solve the nation's energy and greenhouse gas concerns.
"Wind is a great technology ... But it's not a panacea."
There's fossil fuel consumption in the maintenance of wind farms. Many prime wind resources are located far from areas where renewable energy is in demand.
Even here at the Foote Creek wind facility, where high gusts wreak havoc on turbines, lightning strikes are equally troublesome.
"You've got to look at it for what it is," said Borrows.
The problem with electricity generated from wind turbines is, the power can fluctuate. Xcel Energy says it's got a way to even out the flow - an 80-ton battery the size of two semi-trailers.
The Minneapolis-based utility said Thursday that it will begin testing a sodium-sulfur battery being used in Japan to even out the flow of electricity between windy days and nonwindy days.
Xcel plans to put 20 50-kilowatt batteries in Luverne, Minn., about 30 miles east of Sioux Falls, S.D., this spring and connect them to an 11-megawatt wind farm owned by Minwind Energy. The batteries are expected to go online in October.