Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Extracting energy from wind changes regional air currents, which can in turn affect how the nearby ocean circulates, according to Goran Brostrom of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo.
In a paper published this month in Journal of Marine Systems, Brostrom shows in a model that winds swirling at 11 to 22 miles per hour downwind of large farms are uneven. As they blow over the ocean they can roil the waters, causing upwelling. ...the effect is enough to bring nutrient-rich waters up from the depths, which marine life can thrive on.
Big American utilities are slashing their investments in alternative energy. Florida Power & Light has cut its planned investment in wind power next year by 400 megawatts. Duke Energy of North Carolina has lopped $50m off its budget for solar power. And on October 31st VeraSun Energy, one of America's biggest ethanol producers, caught out by gyrations in the prices of corn and petrol (gasoline), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In the European Union the price of carbon permits has fallen from a high of almost €30 in July to around €20, making clean-tech investments less attractive.
William Kovacs, at U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warns: "Anyone who thinks you can have a cap-and-trade system in which trillions of dollars of new securities will be traded is just not paying attention to what's happening on Wall Street." Meanwhile, prices in emerging carbon markets (Carbon Finance) globally have held up better than in other commodities markets, but financial analysts caution that these markets are too immature to provide a safe haven for investors (Reuters). Though sales of carbon emission offset credits--investment in green projects in lieu of direct emissions reductions--have been strong, some experts still express concern over the quality of oversight (WSJ) these projects receive.
An Industry Ministry official said the energy watchdog would check how many wind and solar power plants were installed in time to receive full subsidies before official aid was cut.
"There are some signs that there may be fraud in the installation and functioning of wind and solar parks," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
Spain is inspecting renewable-energy installations suspected of claiming they started producing electricity before they actually entered service. ...Wind generators, which supply about 11 percent of Spain's power, and solar stations earn premium rates that are being scaled back. The generators have an incentive to get their stations operating as soon as possible to get the better price.
Some 150 people today protested against the construction of wind turbines in Poland and the Czech Republic at a Czech-Polish tourist border crossing.
According to the protesters, various investors plan to build up to 400 windmills in the area - the Czech and Polish side of the Orlicke hory mountains.
They say the construction of up to 200 metre high windmills would go
against the character of the landscape.
Protesters against plans for 19 wind turbines each more than 400ft high on "West Glamorgan's last wilderness" have joined a new European-wide campaign against wind energy schemes.
Opponents of proposals by npower renewables (sponsors of The Ospreys rugby team) for the wind turbines on common land on hills at Mynydd y Gwair north of Swansea say the project will ruin the upland area which has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Save our Common Environment (Socme), which is fighting the plans, has joined the European Platform against Windfarms representing growing disenchantment with the schemes.
Morgan Stanley cut its rating on Vestas to ``underweight'' from ``equal-weight'' yesterday, citing ``early signs of softening demand among small developers'' and the recent increase in raw material prices, particularly steel, which it said would constrain profit margins.
Investors in alternative energy are confident entrepreneurs will find ways to drum up finance without deepening the global credit crisis.
Many people fear that as many alternative, low-carbon energy sources are more expensive than gas and oil, developing them will add to the current economic problems, but investors say projects will be aided by private capital. ...A diversified energy mix would help keep the lid on costs, executives told the London conference.
"We must keep ideology out of our choices," said Pierre Gadonneix, chief executive of French utility EDF , who said the supply mix must include hydropower, nuclear, wind and high-efficiency coal and gas.
Wind fuels gas
September 11, 2008
by Edgar Gärtner
in Wall Street Journal
Wind turbines generate electricity very irregularly, because the wind itself is inconsistent. Therefore wind turbines always need backup power from fossil fuels to keep the electricity grid in balance. Gas turbines are the best way to do this. They are able to respond quickly and push power production when wind generators stop suddenly. They can be turned on and off almost instantly, whereas traditional coal-fired plants need to be maintained in a very inefficient standby mode if they are to respond to large fluctuations in power demand.
A proliferation of windmills, then, can become a windfall for gas sellers. Just look at the cases of Spain and Germany, Europe's leading producers of wind power.
Wind power may be one of the cleaner, greener energy sources available, but turbine and blade failures point to dangers that were not anticipated, says Michael Connellan
Theolia SA, the French wind-power company part-owned by General Electric Co., fell after reporting a first-half loss on higher costs and cutting a target for full- year operating profit.
Theolia, based in Aix-en-Provence, fell 25 cents, or 1.8 percent, to 13.80 euros in Paris trading, its lowest close since January. The net loss was 25.3 million euros ($36.6 million), compared with a profit of 6.2 million euros a year earlier.
The company, which had planned to sell about half its wind- energy capacity, now intends to retain installations to take advantage of higher demand for power from renewable-energy sources.
Despite the political momentum whipping up interest in renewable energy, one wind-power firm was not celebrating on Wednesday.
Shares of French wind-energy firm Theolia, which is partly owned by General Electric, dropped 8.6%, or 1.21 euros ($1.74), to 12.84 euros ($18.51), during morning trading in Paris on Wednesday. ...
Theolia could usually rely on the sale of wind farms to third parties to rake in cash, but it sold nothing in the first half of 2008; this is primarily because of Theolia's exposure to Germany, where a higher tariff structure set for 2009 gave little incentive for buyers to make deals before then.
It's not that all these big Dutch companies have suddenly gone 'green'. Adding an environmentally friendly touch to your company's image is a bonus, but according to Mr Westra, the only reason Ballast Nedam, Siemens, KPN and the other companies backing the advert are so keen to start building offshore wind farms is because they offer a chance to make profits.
"On land you're talking about investing millions. When it comes to wind energy at sea, we're talking about investing billions. That's the reason, and all these people can see it too. They see a huge market in it."
Spanish builder FCC has agreed to buy all of the wind power generating assets owned by Babcock & Brown Wind Partners in Spain for 190 million euros ($322 million).
FCC will also take on gross debt of 590 million euros as part of the deal, FCC said today in a statement.
Meridian Energy says more wind generation capacity could have prevented the threat of a power crisis this winter.
New Zealand's largest power company says wind is more reliable than hydro power generation because it is always blowing somewhere.
It says people should not read too much into official production figures which showed the Te Apiti wind farm produced only a sixth of its installed capacity during some autumn months.
Enel, Italy's power utility, has committed to a €500m ($789m) joint venture to build Italy's first offshore wind farm, involving the construction of 115 turbines off the southern waters off Sicily.
The project, whose design was submitted to the Italian government yesterday, aims to become operational by 2012 and is competing to become the Mediterranean's first wind farm.
There are two other projects planned in the Mediterranean but they have not yet entered the construction phase. ...Wind farms have been achieving high valuations in the past year, prompting some analysts to suggest the market is peaking.
The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed.
That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore wind farms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Environment Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday.
Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the wind farms would be
built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity.
The government is aiming to obtain "25,000 megawatts of energy from wind farms by 2030", Tiefensee said. ...European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso weighed into the debate in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, urging Germany to rethink its decision to phase out nuclear energy.
The grand U.S. ambitions of Indian wind-turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy Ltd. are facing mounting problems.
The Indian company -- the world's fifth-largest wind-turbine maker by sales -- earlier this year acknowledged that 65 giant blades on turbines it had sold in the U.S. Midwest were cracking because of the extreme gusts in the region. The company is reinforcing 1,251 blades, almost the total it has sold in the U.S.
Now, other problems are emerging, in part because the company quickly ramped up U.S. sales to meet burgeoning demand for alternative energy. ...