Articles filed under General from Asia

Suzlon drops Rs1,800 crore rights offer, Repower deal in trouble

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.
27 Oct 2008

Quality problems and a weak power grid hamper China's wind power efforts

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.
17 Jul 2008

Indian wind-turbine firm hits turbulence

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. ...
30 Jun 2008

Suzlon's chief resigns after 16 months at helm

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.
28 May 2008

Island wind farm remains unrepaired after two-year breakdown

The US$2 million wind farm on the island stopped operating in early 2006 after technicians from Spain, who had overseen the project, returned to their country. The island's source of renewable energy worked during a three month testing and over one year's guarantee period under the control of the Spanish experts. ...The wind electricity farm was established as a "base" for the island's economic and social development.
6 May 2008

Japan's wind-power problem

In the country that hosted the Kyoto Protocol, wind power has ground to a stunning halt. ...As alternatives to coal, the country has looked mainly to nuclear power and, to a lesser extent, solar. The case of wind in Japan is instructive, as it shows how renewable energy can stumble without proper government intervention. ...But utilities don't view wind as the perfect power. After all, the electricity that wind-power projects supply fluctuates depending on the wind's strength, setting up a risk for power surges and outages. To neutralize this problem, utility companies have asked developers to store the energy created from wind power in batteries that can be tapped when needed, rather than to channel the energy directly to the grid.
23 Apr 2008

Turbulence ahead: India windmill empire begins to show cracks

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, Edison Mission Energy, a unit of Edison International, said the 144-foot-long windmill blades it recently bought from Suzlon have begun to split at three wind-power sites it operates in the Midwest. Suzlon has recalled 1,251 blades from its top-of-the-line turbines, which represent the majority of blades the company has sold to date in the U.S.. Its troubles don't end there. A year ago, the company bought a controlling stake in a large German turbine manufacturer, REpower Systems AG, in one of India's biggest overseas acquisitions. ...Now, Suzlon can't get its hands on the blueprints. Hamstrung by a German corporate law, Suzlon must offer to buy out minority shareholders before it can demand REpower's designs. It's unlikely that the company could make a tender offer until 2009, say people with knowledge of the companies. ...Mr. Kher blamed the cracks on the Midwest's unexpectedly violent changes in wind direction. Though Mr. Tanti says that only 45 blades have cracked, Suzlon says it will add an extra lamination layer to almost all of the blades it has shipped to the U.S. To repair cracked blades and reinforce the rest, the company expects to spend $30 million.
18 Apr 2008

Tighter quake-resistance standards hamper wind-power plans

Wind-power companies are complaining that tougher quake-resistance requirements for buildings have made it difficult or even impossible to construct facilities for the clean energy. They also say that if wind turbines remain covered under the revised Building Standards Law, it would hurt the government's target for wind-power generation capacity. The law now requires windmills that are more than 60 meters tall to clear the same quake-resistance screening as those for high-rise buildings.
2 Apr 2008

Wind energy capacity addition may dip this year

The wind energy capacity addition in the State during the current financial year, which will end on Monday, is likely to be less than what it was in the previous years. ...Another reason is that most of the high potential and commercially remunerative areas have been exhausted. T. Kanagasabai, former additional chief engineer of the Board who dealt with non-conventional energy sources for 15 years, says Muppandal and the Aranvoimozhi Pass have reached saturation. The replacement of old windmills with new ones will lead to higher production ...However, the idea of replacing the old mills may be workable only in clusters of windmills put up by a company or a group of companies. Those who have established one or two windmills may not find it profitable to go in for the new ones.
30 Mar 2008

Some Chinese "clean energy" companies produce a toxic hazard

Stopping between the cornfields and the primary-school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word. in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It's a green-energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar-energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon production - silicon tetrachloride - is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards. "The land where you dump or bury it will be infertile. No grass or
14 Mar 2008

Rising rates, weak winds slow down power output

Investors are also moving cautiously as more than one-third of wind mills, some 800MW of installed capacity, in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu were not utilized in the peak season because the state electricity board did not have infrastructure to "wheel" in the power produced, or infrastructure to match generating points to users, IWPA claimed. Around 2,400MW is concentrated in southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Wind speeds this year have declined by 10%, resulting in shortage in power generation in Tamil Nadu, which has 3,684MW of installed wind energy capacity. "Locations which have lower wind energy generation have become unviable, as there has been a considerable reduction in IRR (internal rate of return) compared with last year," said S.D. Singh, president of Vestas RRB India Ltd, which manufactures wind energy equipment.
25 Dec 2007

Wind turbines to be made of tougher stuff

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.
2 Jul 2007

Commercially viable wind power still some way off

"India has a wind power potential of 20,000 Mw for immediate exploitation and you don't have to import wind from the West Asia because it is freely available," he added. So can wind power help solve India's power crisis? "Absolutely not,"said a senior MNRE official adding that it could be supplementary but would never replace the conventional energy sources. Wind energy is called ‘infirm power' because it is subject to nature's vagaries, which affects its availability. According to a senior Central Electricity Authority (CEA) official, wind is abundantly available only during monsoons and is also temperature dependent, which does not allow for planned addition of wind energy to the grid. This means it cannot be used for meeting the peak demand.
18 Jun 2007

Energy companies make wind power a top investment

From Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to E.ON, the world's largest companies are investing in wind power, the best-performing energy in the past year. Led by Vestas Wind Systems and Iberdrola of Spain, utilities and governments in the United States, China and Europe will spend as much as $150 billion on wind projects in the next five years, according to CLSA Research. Lawmakers are providing financial incentives because windmills are non-polluting and cost less than solar projects. "Wind has the biggest potential to meet renewable energy targets over the next decade, compared with solar and biofuels," said Philippe de Weck, who started the Pictet Clean Energy fund last month for Pictet in Geneva.
4 Jun 2007

The impact of wind farm construction on the Sousa Dolphins

Another disturbing threat to Taiwan's Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis is the development of wind farms within their existing habitat. Despite the obvious fact that the construction of wind farms will result in loss of habitat for the already struggling population of Taiwan's Humpback dolphins, one also has to consider what other impact the construction of these proposed offshore wind farms will have on the Humpback dolphins and other cetaceans in that area.
4 Jun 2007

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy receives order for 788 wind turbines from U.S. power companies

TOKYO: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Wednesday it has received orders for a total of 788 wind turbine power generation systems from five U.S. companies. The order included 166 wind turbines for Edison Mission Energy, 118 for Babcock & Brown Ltd., 197 for Airtricity Inc. and 180 for Eurus Energy America Corp. Another unnamed company ordered 127 units, the Japanese company said.
30 May 2007

Do commercial ‘wind farms’ work?

On a small scale, where a turbine directly supplies the user and the fluctuating production can be stored or "net-metered" on the base grid, wind can contribute to a home, school or a small factory's electricity. But this simply does not work on a large scale to supply the grid. Even the small benefits claimed by their promoters are far outstripped by the huge negative impacts.
18 May 2007
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