Library from Asia
An article in the Nikkei recently may well spell trouble for the fledgling alternative energy industry-and particularly for the wind power generation sector, where most energy investment has taken place in Japan. Apparently residents in the town of Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, have petitioned a wind turbine farm operator (Nikkei doesn't mention who) to close down their plant in the evening hours-on the basis that low frequency noise emanating from the wind farm is causing residents in the area serious health problems.
Domestic power majors Suzlon Energy and Tata Power, which have renewable energy projects in Australia, will benefit as that country is implementing a law to ensure 20 per cent of the country's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. Sources said the expanded Renewable Energy Target (RET) Bill will be enacted as a law by the Australian Parliament in a few days and will come into force by September 2009.
CLP Holdings Ltd. was granted approval by Hong Kong's government to develop what may be the largest offshore wind farm in Asia by capacity. ...Groups, including the Association for Geoconservation, have said the project will destroy the sea view in the Clearwater Bay area, which they describe as the last piece of pristine wilderness in Hong Kong.
Japan's wind power industry installed 183 megawatts (MW) of capacity in the year ended in March, 2009, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, a government linked research unit said in a report on Tuesday. Tighter regulations on wind turbines have restricted construction in the past two years.
Wind power generation is expected to be a clean and environmentally friendly natural energy source, but a new kind of environmental problem has surfaced as infrasonic waves caused by windmills are suspected of causing health problems for some people. ...Wind power generation also poses a danger to birds, which are often struck and killed by the spinning vanes of the windmills. The Japanese Environment Ministry confirmed 13 such bird strikes in which white-tailed eagles, a rare species, were killed since fiscal 2003.
Suzlon lost sales last year after some blades supplied by the company cracked and customers in the U.S. canceled orders. The replacements for customers will be completed in mid-August, two months behind schedule, the company said today.
The police in Nandurbar are verifying a complaint by one Anand Thakare alleging that Aishwarya, Suzlon Energy Ltd, the company that makes wind energy turbines and maintains and operates the turbines on behalf of the investors, and several others had duped him into "selling" his land cheap for a planned 1,000 MW wind energy farm.
Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd (SUZL.BO) has decided to slash 160 jobs, or more than half of its workforce at a U.S. plant, following a drop in orders, a company spokesman said on Thursday. "There has been a slowdown. There's not enough work to keep all people busy," Vivek Kher said.
The world's fifth largest wind turbine maker, Suzlon Energy, which has been grappling with quality issues with its rotor blades in the US and struggling to repay debt, finds itself in rough weather yet again - this time in its home turf near Pune. Suzlon's attempts to set up the largest wind park in the world at Dhule received a major setback after a group of locals in the region started an agitation demanding more money from the company for the acquired land for the project. ...A company spokesperson said similar "agitations" in the past had forced wind energy projects away from Maharashtra.
Late-night noise from spinning wind turbines on an outlying island of Taiwan may have killed 400 goats over the past three years by depriving them of sleep, an agricultural inspection official said on Thursday.
Abnormal noises could affect growth and feeding of the goats, officials say A large number of goats in Taiwan may have died of exhaustion because of noise from a wind farm. A farmer on an outlying island told the BBC he had lost more than 400 animals after eight giant wind turbines were installed close to his grazing land. ...Mr Kuo said the power company had offered to help him move but that there would be no compensation for the loss of his goats.
However, several years ago, a utility company that owns the grids started limiting acceptance of wind electricity from the wind farm. Council officials were told that the large influxes of wind-generated power in the grids had caused "fluctuations in output and frequency," and "lowered the quality of the electricity supply." In supplying electricity nationwide, the major utility companies meticulously balance output with demand to stabilize the voltage and frequency supplied by their networks.
There are at least two dozen dead white storks in this photo taken in Saudi Arabia after they flew into the power lines — part of a wider problem in which millions of birds die every year by flying into obstacles put up by people.
Residents living near wind turbines are increasingly complaining of headaches, dizziness, insomnia and other ailments, sparking fears that the new energy source could pose a risk to public health. Although the cause of the problem remains unclear, the Environment Ministry is investigating the possibility that low frequency sounds produced by the turbines are to blame.
Suzlon Energy Ltd. of India swung to net loss in its fiscal third quarter, hurt by rising costs and a provision to conduct repair work at the wind-turbine maker's overseas plants. Chairman and Managing Director Tulsi Tanti said the global credit crunch is likely to hit sales growth in the wind-energy sector, which had a compounded annual growth rate of more than 34% over the past five years.
Damaged rotor blades and forex losses caused the world's fifth-largest wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy post a consolidated net loss of Rs 34.90 crore for the quarter ended December 2008 against a Rs 142.8 crore profit in the corresponding previous quarter. ...Cracks were detected in 170 of the 1,250 blades for 400 turbines of the S88 V2 model supplied by Suzlon in 2007 to two of its major clients in the US -- Edison International and John Deere.
Operators of wind turbines are already under pressure to improve the structures' quake-resistance strength. Now, they face another problem with nature: endangered birds flying into the turbines' blades. The bird strike problem has become so serious that measures to protect the fowl are slowing the spread of wind power as a source of electricity generation. ... A total of 14 birds designated by the government as national treasures, including white-tailed sea eagles, have died at different sites by flying into completed wind turbines.
He says that by 2020, the US, Europe, China and India will want to have 20% of their power supply from renewables. The issue is about making wind power "cost competitive" with carbon sources, especially coal, which fuels 65% of India's electricity and costs at least a quarter less. "Today wind power is just 1% of supply. It can grow to 7% by 2020. That is the maximum because industry has to find resources, material and execute projects. With greater volumes the price [of wind power] will drop ... and [governments] will ask what is the cost for pollution from carbon fuels. You will need a carbon tax. "
Three Taiwanese coastal villages voted to reject a proposal by a German firm to build a wind farm Saturday, while the German firm insisted the project would not harm the environment. More than 300 people from the three villages in Xinwu, Taoyuan County, north Taiwan, voted on the wind farm plan by Germany's InfraVest GmbH "All the participants are opposed to building the wind farm, unless InfraVest offers better proposals," Yeh Si-kuai, a member of the Self Help Group, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by phone.
Villagers said the wind farms along Taiwan's coast have already destroyed vegetation and trees along the coast and create noise. Taiwan residents have held referendums on building nuclear power plants, but have not yet held a referendum on building wind turbines yet. ...Once the wind turbines start running, they will create noise and destroy the ecology by harming mangroves and crabs.