Library from Germany
Power cuts have struck several countries in Western Europe, leaving millions of people without electricity. Power companies said the outage started in Germany with a surge in demand prompted by cold weather, and then spread to other parts of Europe. Some five million people in France lost power, mainly in the east of the country and including parts of Paris. "We weren't very far from a European blackout," a senior director with French power company RTE said.
Parts of Europe were hit by electricity cuts late Saturday with a chain-reaction effect blamed on a surge in German demand causing power losses as far south as Spain.
The German energy company RWE said the blackouts were caused by surging electricity demand Saturday evening due to a plunge in temperatures to the freezing point. Insufficient electricity supply first triggered blackouts in parts of western Germany, particularly in Cologne, and then across France as the French electricity company EDF tried to fulfill the surging demand but could not.
E.ON AG plans to build wind farms with a total power generating capacity of 700 MW by 2010, chief executive Wulf Bernotat told Die Welt. As a result, Germany 'will take the lead in the field of offshore wind power generation,' he said. E.ON will set up the wind farms in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, he added.
The German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel gave the green light to a project that will see the construction of 12 offshore windmills in the North Sea. The move will go someway to reversing the country’s lag in the development of offshore wind farms, he said. Each windmill will generate 5 megawatts of electricity and will be ready for commercial use at the beginning of 2008, Gabriel said. The farm will be located 45 km off the island of Borkum.
In Laasow, about 20 km west of Cottbus, Brandenburg, the FL 2500/2,5MW, developed by the engineers of W2E Wind-to-Energy on the 160 meter SeeBa world-record-tower, will now produce green energy.
Theolia has acquired two new wind farm construction permits in Ronchois, Seine Maritime for 30MW, and in Grand Camp, Eure et Loire for 24MW.
NIEDERAUSSEM, Germany -- Last year, to help combat global warming, Europe started charging industry for the right to spew hot air. For the first time on such a scale, governments slapped limits on the carbon-dioxide emissions of power plants, steelworks and other factories. Companies exceeding the caps have to buy CO2 "allowances" that trade on a European market. Because CO2 emissions now carry a cost, Germany's largest utility, RWE AG, is spending to improve the efficiency of its aging coal-fired power plants, including its biggest power station here in the country's industrial heartland.
As eco-friendly energy becomes more cost-efficient, convenient, and feasible, the time may be right for a growth spurt
Canadian manufacturer of solar cells and modules Photowatt (PHWT) filed to go public last week; its prospectus contains an overview of the renewable energy industry, and trends in solar energy. The excerpt below is from the company's F-1 filing:
The offshore wind turbine REpower 5M (rotor diameter: 126 m) after its successful erection in the Scottish North Sea
For the first time, a five-megawatt wind turbine by REpower Systems AG (Prime Standard, WKN 617703) has been set up for the first time on the open sea. The first of a total of two turbines for the "Beatrice" demonstrator wind farm has just been set up on a lattice-like jacket structure, piled to the seabed at a depth of 44 metres in the Scottish North Sea, in the Moray Firth.
CAPE Town has, with much fanfare, just embraced wind power, that green panacea of sustainable and clean energy. But we are most unlikely to hear of its cost, its inefficiency and, indeed, its damage to the environment. We will hear that wind power helps curb our greenhouse-gas emissions, makes the country less dependent on fossil fuels and energy imports and -- the icing on the cake -- also creates jobs. Surely this is the solution to many of the world's biggest problems? To see if these alleged benefits actually stand up to closer scrutiny, let us look at a country held up as a shining example: Germany.
Most shocking of all is new evidence that the need to switch on and off base load fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for unreliable wind turbines, actually gives off more carbon emissions than keeping them running continuously, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, not least by their grotesque bending of the planning rules, will the futility of the ‘great Wind Scam’ finally be recognised.
The most important findings of this report highlight studies that raise critical concerns challenging some of the claims made for wind power. Badly needed evidence is now available after three years of large scale operation of wind turbines in five countries..... These studies are the first real evidence showing how wind actually works, as opposed to what has been claimed, and come from some of the most authoritative voices on energy in the world......ABS Energy Research’s report does not relegate wind power to the dustbin. But it does show how essential proper analysis is to establish what renewable energy can and cannot deliver and how it must be accommodated within a total electricity generation system. Objective analysis is essential. Nearly every one of the points described in the study has been labelled a "myth" by a lobby group.
ROBIN Ball (Letters, August 5) has been a victim of the wind-energy deceivers. Those sails in Germany were not producing any energy at all.
Extracts from the attached promotional piece. The full report may be purchased from ABS.
Most of the power emanating from the Ruhr these days is generated by wind farms dotted across the landscape. There is one just by the campsite, vast turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower rising out of the fields and casting a shadow over caravan and camper van alike. As an advert for the site, the windmills don't do much. Oddly, none of them was turning when I arrived. Like the site owner, they were clearly rising above the flap and bustle going on all around them.
A number of wind park operators in the northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein have filed an action for damages with the district court in the town of Itzehoe against the power grid operator E.ON Netz. They are accusing the company of using superficial or specious technical difficulties as an excuse for preventing the use of wind-generated electricity, which is unpopular with energy utilities.
However, some observers are now questioning whether all the investment in wind power makes economic sense....Alsleben's new wind farm is designed to supply electricity to 30,000 homes, but when the wind stops blowing, the blades stop turning and the power output falls to zero. Critics say this underlines one essential drawback: you can't depend on wind for energy. Even if you build wind farms you still need conventional power plants in case the wind fails.