Library filed under Offshore Wind from Germany
Germany’s North Sea coast and islands have become the staging post for a huge boom in offshore wind farms. But while many communities are cashing in, others are struggling to survive.
The damaged turbine at the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm is set to be repaired with a replacement nacelle.
The damage at the offshore wind farm, "Alpha Ventus", located about 45 kilometers from Borkum, is considerably more serious than initially known. At the beginning of April not only did the plastic covering crash 90 meters into the sea, but half of the nacelle fell off as well. Experts are now investigating whether it is a single incident or possibly serial damage. More than 120 turbines of this type are installed in the North Sea.
A rear part of a nacelle panel on one of the Adwen M5000 (AD 5-116) wind turbines installed on the Alpha Ventus wind farm in the German North Sea has broken off and fell into the sea, the operator of the wind farm reports. The accident happened on Friday, 06 April.
German wind developer Wpd has filed a complaint to Germany’s constitutional court against the Wind Energy at Sea Act (WindSeeG) after its far-offshore project Kaikas in the North Sea was excluded from future offshore wind tenders without compensation to the developer.
Germany plans to cap the expansion of offshore wind power at the start of the next decade to ensure the future growth of renewables keeps step with the construction of new power lines.
After years of stop-start progress, the industrialisation of offshore wind is gaining momentum, but has many hurdles lying ahead. Screwing down the cost of technology, construction and operation of wind farms to a levelised cost of energy (LCoE) under €100 ($116) per MWh — at deeper-water, far-from-shore projects — would put fresh winds in the sails.
Trianel’s 200MW Borkum West 2 offshore wind project in Germany has been hit by further delays and will have to wait until 2015 to export full power.
Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as “a faulty total system” as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.
Vattenfall AB is about to build a 11 billion-kronor ($1.6 billion) wind farm in the German North Sea to beat Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned changes to subsidies.
Under plans submitted by E.U. member states, as much as 43.3 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity is supposed to be deployed by 2020. But the pace of installation is falling well behind this ambitious target
Prysmian has revealed that a vessel carrying the cables for two German offshore wind farms has capsized off the coast of Sardinia, losing its cargo.
“It’s either the cost because of the technical challenges or the environmental issues” that’s thwarting projects, Keith Anderson, chief executive officer of Iberdrola SA’s ScottishPower Renewables unit, said. “There’s a bit of realism that unless we can deliver these projects for a lower price, then it’s unrealistic to expect to continue to get political and government support.”
Senvion, formerly known as REpower, has suspended production of offshore wind turbine blades at its Germany-based PowerBlades subsidiary ..."As a result of uncertainty regarding investment, the expansion of offshore wind power in Germany has not proceeded as planned. The sector has long viewed this development with serious concern," Senvion says in a statement.
"There are indications from research that fish larvae can be damaged by intense sounds,” said Fabian Ritter, leader of the marine protection campaign at Whale and Dolphin Conservation in Berlin. "Seals are very sensitive to sounds and can be easily disturbed," he told DW. "There's disturbance and the risk of collision for birds, and bats, and other animals."
The biggest news is renewables this week was probably the bankruptcy of China's Suntech, once the largest PV firm in the world. But in Germany, the news on Friday that offshore wind farm developer Bard folded drew the most attention in Germany -- as a sign of the struggling offshore sector.
German bureaucrats have come up with over 4,000 different subsidy categories for renewable energy, apparently adhering to the principle that what is particularly expensive has to be lavishly subsidized. As a result, a large proportion of the subsidies are used to support highly inefficient technology, such as solar parks in regions of eastern Germany that receive relatively little sunlight and wind turbines far off Germany's North Sea coast. ...if the Energiewende turns out to be a climate killer, it would be better to call the whole thing off.
Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government's energy targets are "completely unfeasible." The rapid transition to renewables is economically "insane," arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.
Only recently, the offshore wind industry was seen as an opportunity to regenerate Germany's coast. But amid changing political attitudes and spiraling costs, several companies are struggling to survive. Is the wind boom over before it even really began?
A British diver was killed while performing underwater work at the 108 MW Riffgat offshore wind farm, located north of Borkum in the North Sea. The 26-year-old was buried in 20-meter water depth by a concrete mat, Die Welt reports.