Articles from Europe

‘Ignored’ communities call for pause to wind farms

In a joint letter to Scottish Government ministers with responsibility for transport, electricity transmission, rural economy and tourism, South Knapdale and Tarbert and Skipness community councils joined forces with their five Kintyre equivalents to express concern at the pace and size of wind farm developments on valuable landscapes. They also claim some windfarm developers have recently ignored Scottish Government advice on providing community benefits – cash for local organisations – and shared community ownership.
30 Apr 2021

Ørsted points to possible reason for EUR 403 million cable problem

Leading offshore wind developer Ørsted has suggested that a scour protection method which left the inter-array cables unstabilised could be the potential reason for an up to DKK 3 billion (EUR 403 million) issue across up to ten wind farms in Europe. As reported earlier, Ørsted first became aware of the problem earlier this year during an inspection after an outage at the Race Bank wind farm offshore the UK.
30 Apr 2021

Cable failures hit offshore wind farms

The company identified a total of 10 projects in the U.K. and Europe that used the same design that may need to be remedied. Some projects will be easy to fix. The company can just dump more rocks on top of the cables to make them stay in place. ...But in other cases, Orsted will have to repair or replace the cables. That’s the pricey option that will make up the bulk of the cost, Wiinholt said.
29 Apr 2021

Damaged offshore wind cables to cost Orsted almost half a billion dollars: CFO

“To a large extent we will be able to mitigate it through stabilising the cable protection system. It will be done by dumping rocks on top of the rocks that are already there.” At other wind farms, the cables are so damaged that the company will either need to repair or replace them, which is more expensive than dumping more rocks on top of the existing protection layer.
29 Apr 2021

‘Wind farm push could face barrier’

EDF Renewables development manager Dave Sweenie, who has been working on the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) wind farm for more than a decade, said if projects begin to ramp up at the same time, limited infrastructure could cause bottlenecks to occur. When other industries are thrown into the mix, ports will begin to fill up “very quickly”, creating a “real barrier” for offshore wind deployment, Mr Sweenie warned.
22 Apr 2021

U2 guitarist The Edge backs nuclear power as a solution to climate problem

“We need to think very deeply about whether our current strategy of renewable energy is going to make it. We’ve got to be prepared to rethink certain things. ...The amount of impact on our land in terms of solar photovoltaic cells and windmills, it’s such a huge amount of ground that you have to dedicate to these renewable resources, is it really practical?”
18 Apr 2021

The Germans now pay by far the highest electricity prices in the world

Rather, the new cost driver on consumers' electricity bills is network charges. In the course of the energy transition, network operators have to build reserve power plants and keep them operational, compensate market participants for line bottlenecks and erect thousands of kilometers of extra-high voltage lines. The West German electricity network operator Amprion has just doubled its investment volume for the next ten years to 24 billion euros. "The increased network usage charges and the increase in value added tax have led to this noticeable burden," says Lasse Schmid, Managing Director Energy at Check24: "The minimal reduction in the EEG surcharge cannot compensate for that."
4 Apr 2021

French court orders 'historic' demolition of seven wind turbines

Ms Villey-Migraine said: “They are on top of a mountain, in a region with protected species including golden eagles. 'One young eagle was killed by a turbine and the death of a cinereous vulture led to an order for the turbines to turn only at night'. "There are also restrictions due to bats. Other turbines on the mountains threaten protected species, but these were the only ones we could challenge in the courts over the building permit.”
1 Apr 2021

Now the energy transition is becoming a danger for all of Germany

The assumptions of the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding security of supply for electricity are "partly too optimistic and partly implausible", criticize the auditors. The ministry also did not examine a scenario in which several foreseeable factors coincide that could jeopardize security of supply. So it could be that the network expansion is delayed and at the same time the cross-border transmission capacity is restricted. The Federal Ministry of Economics argues that “a stacking of various disadvantageous scenarios is not sensible according to the state of the technical discussion”. However, the examiners found this objection “not convincing”. Further uncertainties would arise from the increasing demand for electricity for the electrification of transport and for the production of the energy carrier hydrogen in electrolysis plants. The auditors therefore do not share the assumption of the federal government that electricity demand will remain more or less stable until 2030.
31 Mar 2021

Ocean life is at risk from turbines: Ramping up wind power off British coast will cause loss of marine life by 'urbanising the sea', experts warn

Melanie Austen, Professor of Ocean and Society at Plymouth University, said: ‘We’re talking about effectively urbanising the sea by introducing these structures. Introducing hard structure through cables and the turbines themselves is going to change the ecology and the ecosystem.’
21 Mar 2021

Huge solar farm sparks calls for ‘food versus fuel’ debate

Emeritus professor of the rural environment Michael Alder, who is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society, said a national debate was needed on the future of the countryside – including biodiversity and landscape as well as food and fuel. “Land is finite, and whatever you use it for there are trade-offs. “Sometimes these trade-offs are acceptable and sometimes they are not. “I have a particular concern about food security – the Sunnica proposal is for land that is very productive.”
19 Mar 2021

RWE warns on profit as Texas freeze halts wind farms

Given the situation, we see this as a one-off impact and RWE may try to recoup losses from insurance,” the analysts wrote in a note. RWE said part of its onshore wind fleet in Texas had been partly out of service from Feb. 9 because of icing and grid issues that have dealt a major blow to the second-largest U.S. state.
18 Mar 2021

Height of nonsense as Lairg 2 turbines amended for third time

The renewable energy company now wants six turbines measuring 200m; one at 190m and three at 150m. Ms Herrick previously said she had been taken aback at the speed at which Energiekontor UK sought a variance to its original consent and that developers should not be allowed to continually alter plans.
16 Mar 2021

Over 230 submissions on proposed wind farm

Wicklow Uplands Council observed that the project could pose a 'significant threat to the character of this historic upland landscape'. The group expressed its support for renewable energy, but suggested that alternative and less sensitive locations could be considered. This view was echoed by a number of observations. Mountaineering Ireland and Rathdangan Local History Group also lodged submissions. The Department of Defence also lodged an objection to the proposal. They note the military lands at the Glen of Imaal are the Defence Forces' largest training and live fire range.
13 Mar 2021

EU court sticks to strict interpretation of Birds Directive in Swedish logging case

However, the wind power industry has voiced concern that the judgment could scupper plans to relax protections in order to ramp up wind farm construction. Wolfram Axthelm of German wind power association BWE told business daily Handelsblatt that the judgment would not help his sector. “Individual species protection in every planning application represents a massive hurdle,” he said.
8 Mar 2021

Failure for wind industry: ECJ strengthens bird protection

"The judgment does not help us as an industry," said Wolfram Axthelm managing director of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) to the Handelsblatt. The challenge remains of balancing the protection of the individual birds and the protection of the population. The ball is now with the legislature in Germany. "The Environment Ministers' Conference has taken up the topic and must now come to results as quickly as possible," said Axthelm.
4 Mar 2021

Electricity costs explode in Germany; 900 million euros more than in 2019

According to figures from the Federal Network Agency in 2020, they accounted for more than three quarters of the electricity bills of private households. According to the EU statistical office Eurostat, Germany, along with Denmark and Belgium, has the highest electricity prices for household customers. ...Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier from the CDU wants to relieve consumers and the economy of electricity prices with a system change in the promotion of green electricity.
28 Feb 2021

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