Articles from Europe

National Grid electricity blackout report points to failure at wind farm

The provisional report, which was submitted to regulators on Friday, suggests for the first time that the Hornsea offshore wind farm, which is owned and run by Denmark’s Orsted, may have tripped offline seconds before an outage at a smaller, gas-fired station. The findings, which were relayed to the Financial Times by people briefed on the report, suggest the blackout may have been avoided if not for an error at the wind farm.
16 Aug 2019

Transport chaos across England and Wales after major power cuts

The blackout may have been caused by the unexpected shutdowns of the Hornsea offshore wind farm, which is owned by the Danish wind farm company Orsted, and the Little Barford gas-fired power plant, owned by German utility giant RWE. National Grid data showed both of the generators dropped from the grid at around the same time. ...“We would have expected the system to cope with this size of loss of generation,” an Enappsys spokesman said. “This implies that there may have been [other] issues at the time of the trips.”
9 Aug 2019

London Blackout Blamed on Drop in Wind and Natural-Gas Power

“Today what happened is a major offshore wind generation site and a gas turbine failed at the same time,” said Devrim Celal, chief executive officer of Upside Energy in London, which contracts with National Grid to help balance electricity. “There was a significant shortage of generation, and that sudden drop created ripple effects across the country.”
9 Aug 2019

Flooding issues associated with Galway wind farm brought to European Commission

 those in authority in the EC deemed the situation unacceptable and they began to place more focus on the wind farm, which was located at a site that was at the heart of the landslide. The EC said the situation could not continue and it focused on the wind farm and the difficulties that arose around that. “We don’t believe that the wind farm developers even considered flooding when environmental impact assessments were carried out,” Murray added.
5 Aug 2019

Fishermen losing grounds

“The environmental and economic costs of offshore wind energy are greater than one can expect. A large amount of square kilometers is needed for this industry, which translates into habitat destruction and a direct loss of fishing grounds due to the prohibition of fishing in the wind farms itself but also in the surrounding large buffer zones. The same grounds where fishermen were solely making use of the sea’s resources in the most sustainable way possible are now used and subsidized by governments to build offshore wind farms. As a consequence, fishermen are forced to displace from these areas and concentrate fishing effort in the already limited space left, increasing safety risks.”
31 Jul 2019

Electricity bills could double to bail out new wind farms, report claims

Electricity bills could double to bail out new wind farms that have massively underestimated their operating costs, a former adviser to the World Bank has claimed. Two offshore wind projects secured contracts to supply renewable energy at reduced costs in 2017 and it was hailed the result of huge strides made in technology and engineering, sparking hopes of a green jobs boom.
28 Jul 2019

Collapse of wind power threatens Germany's green energy transition

According to its findings, more than 70 percent of the legal objections are based on species conservation, especially the threat to endangered bird species and bats. ...In addition to species protection, it is primarily conflicts with noise protection that are leading to legal objections against wind power projects. They are responsible for 17 per cent of legal cases. Monument protection are behind six percent of lawsuits. 
27 Jul 2019

German market collapse hits European onshore wind stats

Europe installed 2.9GW of new onshore wind capacity in the period, down from 3.3GW in the first half of 2018, while offshore wind additions rose to 1.9GW in the first half, up from 1.1GW added in the year-ago period, industry group WindEurope said. Germany experienced its worst half year in terms of onshore installations since 2000, with only 252MW added. 
25 Jul 2019

Major Donegal wind farm plan rejected over bird concerns

The proposed seven-turbine wind farm in the Behy Mountain area of Cashelard near Ballyshannon has been refused planning permission due to concern over the impact on the hen harrier. Donegal County Council said it could not be satisfied that the development, which would be an extension to an existing wind farm, would not have a negative impact on the breeding grounds and foraging areas of the protected species.
25 Jul 2019

Hen Harrier killed after wind turbine collision

“There is a serious concern that inappropriately placed and planned wind farm developments can have significant impacts on Raptor populations due to loss of habitat, displacement from breeding areas and increased mortality,” he said. Mr O’Toole said that, despite raising the issue with Ms Madigan and An Bord Pleanála, “wind farms in important breeding areas for Hen Harriers continue to get approval for planning”.
16 Jul 2019

How Germany's Energiewende Could Work After All

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that, two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then -- often farmers and homeowners -- are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
5 Jul 2019

Renewable energy jobs in UK plunge by a third

Prospect, the union which covers much of the sector, has found a 30% drop in renewable energy jobs between 2014 and 2017, as government cuts to incentives and support schemes started to bite. It also found investment in renewables in the UK more than halved between 2015 and 2017.
30 May 2019

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