Library filed under General from Asia
A cold front swept across northern China's Inner Mongolia region in early November, forcing a wind energy farm at Xilin Gol to curtail operations - even as a brisk breeze whistled through idle turbine blades. "When that much wind is moving through, the generators can't make electricity," explained Ma Zhanxiang, vice president of the Inner Mongolia Electric Power Industry Association (EPIA). "Money just blows by." ...Inner Mongolia's situation is a clear example. Its installed capacity - 50 gigawatts -- is the country's largest, but the excess at wind farms has reached a crisis level. EPIA counts some 10 gigawatts in the region, including 3.49 gigawatts of wind power, as excess installed capacity.
A Sino-US consortium yesterday announced plans for a US$1.5 billion, 600MW wind farm in Texas, with China supplying all the turbines and most of the funding. The 36,000-acre wind farm ...is a joint venture between state-backed Chinese firm Shenyang Power Group, US wind farm developer Cielo Wind Power and private equity firm US Renewable Energy Group. Most of the funding for the project will come from Chinese banks, with loan guarantees and grants provided by the US federal government's economic stimulus package.
China wants renewable energy like wind to meet 15% of its energy needs by 2020 ...But experts say the country's transmission network currently can't absorb the rate of growth in renewable-energy output. Last year, as much as 30% of wind-power capacity wasn't connected to the grid. As a result, more coal is being burned in existing plants, and new thermal capacity is being built to cover this shortfall in renewable energy.
China, the world's third-largest economy, has made green energy a priority. The country has doubled its capacity for wind-generated power every year for the past four years, and President Hu Jintao pledged last week to turn to more sources of renewable energy in coming years. However, many wind farms have been built far from populated areas or transmission grids, making their output largely useless for now. The China Electricity Council, a national industry group, says 28% of the country's wind power equipment sat idle at the end of 2008.
BP is expanding its wind power electricity generation capacity in the United States but is shedding an Indian unit, which has been sold to Green Infra Limited of India. BP said Green Infra Limited purchased its subsidiary, BP Energy India Private Limited, for a total cash-free, debt-free enterprise value of about $95 million.
The Fiji Electricity Authority has admitted that its $34million Butoni Wind farm in Sigatoka was a failure. And this was because of insufficient study of the area. ...It was also revealed that one of the joint venture partners of the FEA, Pacific Hydro Limited, pulled out in 2003 after seeing the project as financially uneconomical based on its development cost and expected cost of energy generation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Media reports suggested that the company may defer 15 per cent of its recruitment plans till March next year. When contacted, a Suzlon spokesperson refused to comment. "We have no comment on whether the company has deferred its recruitment plans till March or not. We have no information about that. We cannot confirm this information." ...The energy experts say that the prospects of renewable-energy companies soared with oil prices moving northwards, but the fortunes have since reversed.
BP Alternative Energy has pulled out of a partnership with a subsidiary of Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind Science & Technology Co. BP Alternative Energy had originally signed a framework agreement to jointly develop three wind farms in Inner Mongolia. In a statement posted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Goldwind said that BP was suspending its wind power business in Asia.
Suzlon Energy Ltd, India's biggest wind-turbine maker, suspended a rights offer announced a month ago to raise Rs1,800 crore to buy an additional stake in Repower Systems AG. In a separate announcement, Repower said in Frankfurt on Monday that it was in advanced negotiations with a syndicate of banks for loans to fund its growth. It said banks had demanded that Repower refrain from entering into a domination and profit transfer agreement with Suzlon, and that the two companies had decided to comply. ...Suzlon shares have dropped 88% this year.
China is well on its way to generating more than three times its stated target and nearly 3 percent of its power from wind by 2020 - but only if the country's creaky distribution grid can keep pace with the expansion. Amid an investment boom fueled by rising coal prices and Beijing's drive for greener economic growth, China could have 100 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2020, ten times its current capacity, experts and industry officials say. But for the moment, production from turbine makers and investment by remote generators is moving far swifter than the grid, whose frailty was underscored by a severe icy spell in January that took down power lines.
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. ...
The chief executive officer of Suzlon Energy Ltd., the world's fifth-largest wind-turbine producer by sales, has resigned amid growing questions about the Indian company's fast-paced growth. Andre Horbach, a former senior executive for General Electric Co. in Europe, stepped down on Friday, 16 months after taking the job. ...Suzlon has benefited from a global shortfall of turbines from more-established producers like GE and Denmark's Vestas AS, the world's largest producer in terms of sales. ...But Suzlon is also facing headwinds. Blades on turbines that it has sold to power producers in the U.S. have begun cracking. The company says only 45 blades have been affected, but it plans to spend $30 million on repairs and to strengthen almost all the blades it has sold in the U.S. Suzlon's efforts to upgrade its technology have also run into problems.