Articles from Europe
The Danish wind power firm Ørsted has warned that up to 10 of its giant offshore windfarms around the UK and Europe will need urgent repairs because their subsea cables have been eroded by rocks on the seabed. ...Ørsted has found that the rocks placed at the base of the wind turbine foundations to prevent the erosion of the seabed were responsible for wearing down the cable protection system which, in a worst case scenario, could cause the cables to fail.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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?”
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."
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.
Wind now cranks up more kilowatts than any other power source in the state of Kansas. Yet even as towering turbines and their slow-churning blades come to increasingly define the Kansas landscape, a counter movement seems to take hold.
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.’
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The Versailles Court of Appeal has just ordered EDF and its subsidiaries to pay 500 euros to the France Nature Environnement association and reminds that the destruction of protected species is prohibited. The FNE renews its request for the dismantling of the wind turbines in Aumelas (Hérault).
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.
"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.
Citing calculations from the shopping portal Check24, the total amount paid was about 900 million euros more than in 2019. One reason was the high consumption due to home office use. But the primary reason was because of the rising cost of green electricity.
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.