Library filed under Technology from Germany

Lifeline for renewable power

To make use of this clean [renewable] energy, we'll need more transmission lines that can transport power from one region to another and connect energy-­hungry cities with the remote areas where much of our renewable power is likely to be generated. We'll also need far smarter controls throughout the distribution system--technologies that can store extra electricity from wind farms in the batteries of plug-in hybrid cars, for example, or remotely turn power-hungry appliances on and off as the energy supply rises and falls. If these grid upgrades don't happen, new renewable-power projects could be stalled, because they would place unacceptable stresses on existing electrical systems.
22 Dec 2008

E.ON speeds first German offshore wind park link

Work on a transformer and cable housings to bring offshore wind power to Germany's mainland for the first time is on course for a likely start in October, utility E.ON's network division said on Monday. The alpha ventus wind park, also known as Borkum West and situated some 45 km north of the island of Borkum near the German-Dutch border, will be Germany's first such venture. "This wind park will probably start in October as the first of its kind in the North Sea," E.ON Netz said in a statement. Once the plant becomes operational, it will form the foundation to research and implement some 30 or more pending projects in the German North and Baltic Seas territories.
14 Apr 2008

Floating wind turbine may be in sea by 2009

The world's first floating wind turbine could be generating electricity in the North Sea in 2009 under a research pact between Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro and German engineering firm Siemens. Floating wind turbines would represent a technological breakthrough for offshore power generation, which has had to rely on shallow sites for turbines installed on the seabed.
26 Jun 2007

Less For More: The Rube Goldberg Nature of Industrial Wind Development

Less_for_more_thumb Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
20 Dec 2006

Off-shore 5M Wind Turbine Premier

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.
1 Sep 2006

Wind Power: Capacity Factor, Intermittency, and what happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

Rerl_fact_sheet_2a_capacity_factor_thumb Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.
1 Jan 1970
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