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Author Topic: Wind Power  (Read 8478 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #165 on: March 24, 2017, 05:48:18 pm »
Oil Majors Plunge Into Industry That May Hurt Fossil Fuel

March 23, 2017 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:

By Jessica Shankleman

(Bloomberg) — Big oil is starting to challenge the biggest utilities in the race to erect wind turbines at sea.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are moving into multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farms in the North Sea and beyond. They’re starting to score victories against leading power suppliers including Dong Energy A/S and Vattenfall AB in competitive auctions for power purchase contracts, which have developed a specialty in anchoring massive turbines on the seabed.

The oil companies have many reasons to move into the industry. They’ve spent decades building oil projects offshore, and that business is winding down in some areas where older fields have drained. Returns from wind farms are predictable and underpinned by government-regulated electricity prices. And fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business as forecasts emerge that renewables will eat into their market.

“It is certainly an area of interest for us because there are obvious synergies with the traditional oil and gas business,” said Luca Cosentino, the vice president of energy solution at the Italian oil producer Eni, which is working with General Electric Co. on renewables. “As the oil and gas industry we know, we cannot get stuck where we are and wait for someone else to take this leap.”

Even as oil production declined in the North Sea over the last 15 years, economic activity has been buoyed by offshore windmills. The notorious winds that menaced generations of roughnecks working on oil platforms have become a boon for a new era of workers asked to install and maintain turbines anchored deep into the seabed. About $99 billion will be invested in North Sea wind projects from 2000 to 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A decade ago, the industry had projects only a fraction of that size.

While crude still supplies almost a third of the world’s energy, oil executives are starting to adjust to demands for cleaner fuels. Even so, emerging fossil-fuel alternatives including wind and solar power are starting to limit growth in oil demand.

Those technologies and electric cars may displace as much as 13 million barrels of oil a day from global demand by 2040, more than is currently being produced by Saudi Arabia, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Shell’s Interest

http://gcaptain.com/oil-majors-plunge-into-industry-that-may-hurt-fossil-fuel/
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #166 on: April 03, 2017, 05:32:52 pm »

Wind Power Smashes Records Worldwide 

Wind power is skyrocketing across the globe.
In Scotland, wind turbines provided more than 1.2 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid in March, according to an analysis of WeatherEnergy data by WWF Scotland. To translate, that's enough renewable electricity to power 136 percent of Scottish households, or 3.3 million homes.

The figures represent an increase of 81 percent compared to the same time last year, when wind energy during March 2016 generated 684,632 MWh of electricity, The National noted.

Quote
"Given this March wasn't as windy as it has been in some previous years, this year's record output shows the importance of continuing [to] increase capacity by building new wind farms," said Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland. "As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and continues to play an important role in Scotland's efforts to address global climate change by avoiding millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year."

Scotland's total electricity consumption (for homes, business and industry) for March was about 2.1 MWh, meaning that wind power provided about 58 percent of the county's electricity needs for the month.
Scotland    is a wind power all star, with wind turbines occasionally generating more electricity than is actually needed. This past March 17 and 19, wind turbines provided an output equivalent of 102 percent and 130 percent of each day's demand, respectively.

India is also celebrating a major wind energy milestone. According to India's ministry of new and renewable energy, the country added a record wind power capacity of 5,400 megawatts (MW) in 2016-17, vastly exceeding its initial target of 4,000 MW for the year. The previous best was 3,423 MW in 2015-16.

Of the new capacity, around 3,026 MW was added in March 2017 alone , the Economic Times reported.

India's total wind capacity currently stands at around 32,177 MW.

http://www.ecowatch.com/wind-power-breaks-records-2342600001.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #167 on: April 11, 2017, 02:53:23 pm »
PJM study quantifies wind’s value for building a reliable, resilient power system
   
 
Michael Goggin 
April 4, 2017
 
The largest grid operator in the US just released an innovative study that quantifies the reliability of possible future energy mixes. It found that portfolios with very large amounts of wind energy, dozens of times greater than the current mix, scored among the highest for reliability and resilience.

PJM, which operates the power system across all or part of 13 Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic states as well as the District of Columbia, has previously found large amounts of renewable energy can be reliably integrated. For example, its 2014 study found no reliability problems from obtaining 30 percent of the region’s electricity from renewable energy. That finding has been confirmed by many other studies, as well as grid operating experience in the U.S. and around the world.

PJM’s latest study shows that even more renewable energy can be reliably integrated. In many of the scenarios PJM evaluated, wind and solar energy reliably provided the majority of electricity.

It should be noted that many readers may be initially confused by the way PJM’s results are presented.

Due to the way PJM’s study accounts for capacity, wind should be multiplied by around five and solar by around 1.2 to convert the PJM scenarios into the share of energy that would be provided by those resources in a particular generation mix (see footnote 68 of the Appendix). For example, when the report discusses solar providing 20 percent of “unforced capacity,” that actually corresponds to solar providing around a quarter of all electricity generated on the PJM system.

Wind was able to go much higher, reliably providing the vast majority of PJM’s electricity in some scenarios. In fact, PJM found no maximum on the amount of wind it could accommodate, as noted on page 34 in appendix. As shown on page 28 of the report, scenarios in which wind provided nearly all of the generation on PJM’s system (15-25 percent of unforced capacity) maintain reliability at levels comparable to those on today’s power system.

Wind makes the power system more resilient

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of PJM’s study was testing the resilience of future energy mixes to extreme events like the 2014 polar vortex. As we’ve explained previously, wind performed quite well during that event, while many conventional power plants failed due to the cold weather.

Only around one-third of the reliable energy portfolios PJM analyzed passed the resiliency test. Portfolios with a large amount of wind energy tended to be more resilient because, as PJM noted, wind energy possesses the unique benefit that “unavailability rates for wind are likely to decrease” under a polar vortex event.

Said another way, wind energy output tends to be above average when extreme weather causes output from nearly all other energy sources to fall below expectations. That type of negative correlation with the availability of other energy sources is the key to using portfolio diversity to make the power system more resilient.

Interestingly, PJM’s results show wind energy contributing to resilience in a way that is comparable to the contributions of coal and nuclear power plants. PJM found wind energy played a large role in almost all of the scenarios that maintained resilience while retiring many coal and nuclear power plants. As seen in the following chart showing the portfolios that passed the resiliency test, wind steps in in almost perfect lock-step when coal and nuclear are not available. For the two-thirds of scenarios that did not pass the resiliency test (those that appear in Figure 16 of the Appendix but not below), many had much lower amounts of wind energy.


PJM’s report discusses other extreme weather events that have affected a large share of generation, but does not quantitatively analyze resilience to them. Examples include droughts that have limited conventional power plants’ access to cooling water. Droughts and sustained high temperatures in various parts of the U.S. have forced fossil and nuclear plants to operate at reduced output or even go offline, while the recent drought in California greatly reduced the state’s hydroelectric output. Wind energy and solar photovoltaics continued to generate as expected during these events, as they require no water to operate.

Wind provides grid reliability services

The report notes that technological advances enable wind energy to provide many of the reliability services that conventional power plants provide today.

In fact, in many cases wind plants exceed the ability of conventional resources to provide these reliability services. As a result, in the high renewable scenario, PJM found wind could grow to provide 25.5 percent of PJM’s flexibility needs, up from 1.3 percent today. Partially as a result, PJM found a high renewable power system was about 50 percent more flexible than today’s power system (Appendix, page 29).

However, there appear to be some flaws in PJM‘s quantification of energy sources’ reliability services contributions. (See pages 17-20 of PJM’s report for the definitions of the following reliability services) As one example, because PJM’s calculation of reactive power contribution is based on historical data, it does not account for the increased reactive capability required of new wind and solar plants under a 2016 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order.

PJM also incorrectly de-rated wind’s reactive power capability by 87 percent, due to the capacity accounting methods discussed above, while solar’s was reduced by 62 percent. While this derating of reactive capability makes sense for conventional generators, it is inappropriate for wind and solar plants that use power electronics to provide reactive power when they are operating at partial, or even zero, real power output. As a result, new wind plants are capable of providing fast and accurate voltage and reactive power control the vast majority of the time.

Similarly, PJM’s assumptions regarding the provision of frequency regulation service are based on current operating procedures, even though those will change as the resource mix changes. For example, Xcel Energy already uses wind plants to provide frequency regulation service, and has found wind provides frequency regulation that is faster and more accurate than that provided by conventional power plants. In the Appendix PJM acknowledges that at higher penetrations wind is likely to provide the same primary frequency response contribution as conventional power plants, but the same logic would apply to frequency regulation.

In fact, wind plants will likely be better than conventional power plants at providing primary frequency response and regulation. Wind plants typically respond to frequency regulation signals an order of magnitude faster than conventional power plants can, while the North American Electric Reliability Corporation has found that around 90 percent of conventional power plants fail to provide sustained primary frequency response. PJM’s report does note that nuclear plants do not provide frequency response.

Regardless, PJM’s report found that reactive power capability in the high renewable future was essentially unchanged from today’s levels, and frequency response capability only declined by a few percent. Given that the frequency response capability of the current power system greatly exceeds the need, such a small decline is not cause for concern.

PJM’s report did not analyze resources’ ability to ride through voltage and frequency disturbances on the grid. This is a critical reliability service, as the failure of conventional generators to ride through disturbances has been implicated in many recent grid reliability events. Had PJM examined this, it would have found that wind plants, again thanks to their power electronics, far exceed the capability of conventional power plants to remain online following a disturbance.

Availability of on-site fuel was the other category in which PJM projected a power system with large amounts of renewable and natural gas generation may differ from the current power system. However, it should be noted that again PJM assumed current operating practices, even though other grid operators have already required gas generators to have dual-fuel capability and store liquid fuel onsite. PJM’s report also does not account for the potential growth of innovative resources that can provide these services, like energy storage and demand response.

It should also be noted that, while PJM runs a sensitivity to examine resilience to a polar vortex event, for the reliability analysis that underlies the report’s main conclusions it does not quantify the risk that a common mode failure will take out a significant share of conventional generation. Rather, PJM uses the industry standard but invalid assumption that conventional power plant failures are random events, with no correlation between the failure of one conventional power plant and another. As real-world reliability events like the polar vortex have shown, that assumption overstates the reliability of conventional resources by ignoring the risk that many of them will be forced offline simultaneously by correlated, common mode failures. Wind and solar resources are held to a higher standard, as the impact of weather and other correlated events on their output profile is taken into account in this and other analysis.

Regardless, electricity markets will ensure that the power system continues to have enough capacity to operate reliably. The fact that prices in PJM’s capacity market are a fraction of the cost of building a new power plant indicates that there is no need for new capacity on its system. Existing power plants are almost always the cheapest form of capacity, and there is minimal impact on emissions from maintaining existing power plants that only operate during a small number of hours to maintain system reliability. If it becomes economic to replace those existing generators with new resources like demand response, energy storage, or gas generators, the market will provide the price signal to do so.

PJM’s study did examine the geographic diversity of wind and solar resources across PJM, which helps to increase the contribution of those resources to meeting capacity needs because if renewable energy is unavailable in one area it is typically available somewhere else on the power system. PJM’s study also captured the synergy between wind and solar output profiles, which makes their combined capacity contribution greater than the sum of its parts.

PJM’s report makes important contributions to understanding power system reliability and resilience, and confirms that very high levels of renewable energy can be reliably integrated. However, at times the report falls into the common misconception that conventional power plants provide essential reliability services while renewable resources do not. In reality, wind plants exceed the reliability contributions of conventional power plants in many cases.

http://www.aweablog.org/pjm-study-quantifies-winds-value-building-reliable-resilient-power-system/
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #168 on: April 11, 2017, 05:21:23 pm »
And for those who think that wind power requires high-tech:

 

JD,
if you haven't read the true history of how the windmills all over the Midwest were deliberately NOT allowed to be used for generating electricity, I suggest you check it out. Farmers used them to mill grains, of course. They used them to pump water and to run lathes and other rotary tool devices to make furniture and wagon parts.

I refuse to believe these resourceful folks didn't try to run a generator from a windmill. The power people just didn't want distributed renewable energy out there competing with their centralized electrical juice business model, so they did what they could to prevent that.

Windmills never really went away in some places in the Midwest. They use them for pond aeration too!

3 Legged Underwater Aeration Windmill System

$2,999.99

$2,703.99 Starting price

Description

The Deluxe 20 ft. 3 Legged Underwater Aeration Windmill System is everything you need to aerate a pond using an innovative design and the power of the wind. This windmill offers an outstanding air output of 4.5 CFM rated at 30 psi. and includes extra supplies for two aeration systems. It features a new BalCam technology that minimizes bearing fatigue, 18-gauge galvanized steel construction, self governing head, and a large check valve to protect the unit in the wind. Available in Black, Blue, Bronze, Forest Green, Galvanized Steel, Green, Red, White, and Yellow color options. (OUS021-9)
•New BalCam technology minimizes bearing fatigue
•Patent pending new design
•Fast & easy assembly
•High quality 18 gauge galvanized steel
•Redesigned blades and front dome assembly for better air flow

Specifications

Assembly Assembly Required
Color Galvanized Steel
Fuel Type Wind
Hose Length 100 ft.
Material Metal


Deluxe 20 ft. 3 Legged Underwater Aeration Windmill System
 by Outdoor Water Solutions

https://jet.com/product/detail/c1d7eb1fdd6c4de2a2121e668493d620
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #169 on: April 18, 2017, 07:46:35 pm »
An interesting idea.  8)

A DIY Wind Power Generator That You Can Build


Published on Sep 26, 2016

Crushing the air into a smaller channel will increase the speed.
With an increase in velocity, power increases as the cube of the difference; Double means 8 times as much energy!
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #170 on: April 19, 2017, 01:11:59 pm »
A divide emerges among North Carolina Republicans on wind energy

Written By Elizabeth Ouzts
April 18, 2017


A small band of North Carolina GOP legislators has made its antipathy toward wind power clear in recent months – urging the Trump administration to shut down the state’s first major wind farm and introducing two different bills to severely restrict future projects.

But this week a set of state House Republicans will push legislation designed to help wind power rather than hurt it.

“The only thing my bill has in common with the other two, is that it does deal with wind energy,” said Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland), the lead sponsor of House Bill 574 along with Reps. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) and Sam Watford (R-Davidson). “The similarities probably stop there.”

The legislation streamlines the state’s permitting process, but allows the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to reject any new wind farm proposal – a response to concerns that wind turbines could threaten eastern North Carolina’s military bases.

“I’m not trying to put more restrictions on wind developers,” said Szoka, a retired U.S. Army officer whose Fayetteville district includes Fort Bragg. “I’m trying to put to rest some of the fears.”

Cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 18 representatives, the proposal will get a hearing Wednesday in the House energy committee, which Szoka chairs.

Quote
Backers of the bill are optimistic it will carry more support than the anti-wind proposals, which they say come from a small but vocal minority.

“In our experience, most lawmakers are looking for ways to have the right balance,” said Greg Andeck of Audubon North Carolina. “They care deeply about the military, they care deeply about our wildlife and natural resources, and they’re looking for the right way to grow the [wind] industry.”

Muddying the waters for wind energy projects’

The zeal of some lawmakers  to ban wind power has distracted from what many say are burdens of the state’s existing rules, enacted in 2013 after Republicans swept the governor’s office and the legislature.

No wind farm has been authorized yet under the standards, which were adopted after Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East, the 104-turbine project near Elizabeth City, had already won key approvals.

Critics say the permitting criteria are redundant, and vague enough to allow any wind project to be rejected or delayed by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The new law “had the effect of muddying the water for wind energy projects,” said Craig Poff of Avangrid Renewables, the Amazon wind farm’s developer, at a recent Chapel Hill conference. Though several wind power companies were eyeing the state prior to 2013, he said, “many of those big developers soon took their business elsewhere.”  :P

House Bill 574 is an attempt to woo that business back.    It strikes several conditions already covered in typical county ordinances, including requirements about noise, light, and the notification of project neighbors.

The legislation removes seemingly subjective criteria, such as wind farms not creating a “significant adverse impact”  ;)  on views from public and some private lands, while retaining standards for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and wildlife.

Though DEQ Secretary Michael Regan under Gov. Roy Cooper is more sympathetic to wind power than his predecessor, advocates remain concerned about a provision of the law that could allow regulators to stall a permit application indefinitely. House Bill 574 removes that loophole.

“It’s less risky than what we have now,” Katharine Kollins, president of the Southeastern Wind Coalition, said of the proposal. “Right now, it’s all in the hands of DEQ under very uncertain criteria. This firms up the criteria.”

“It keeps a lot of the same protections for natural resources and wildlife,” said Audubon’s Andeck, “and at the same time, provides [wind developers] with even greater clarity on the steps and the timetable they have to follow if they want to secure project approval.”

The ‘right way’ to transition to clean energy

Audubon’s support for the bill is not insignificant. While numerous studies show that buildings and house cats cause more bird deaths than wind power, “bird blenders”  ::) remains a common insult for wind turbines among skeptics in the legislature.

But Audubon, which opened a North Carolina office in 1902, views advancing renewable energy to slow climate change as essential to its mission. Decades worth of data collected by his organization, Andeck says, shows North Carolina birds such as the brown pelican, wild turkey, and osprey already being impacted by a warming planet.

Quote
“A transition to clean energy is really critical to protect birds from the worst effects of climate pollution,” said Andeck. “That transition can be done in a right way.”

For Audubon, that means situating wind farms to avoid migratory pathways and other important bird areas rather than banning them altogether.

“Audubon has and will continue to oppose wind projects that we believe are poorly planned or sited in the state,” said Andeck. “It’s far more appropriate to look at projects on a case by case basis, rather than make broad claims about the impacts of a technology on wildlife.”

‘Trying to find a happy medium’

Much louder than their complaints about wildlife, however, are protests from some lawmakers about wind power’s impact on the military – a $66 billion economic engine concentrated in eastern North Carolina.

Critics claim the Amazon wind farm will interfere with a Navy radar in Virginia. They say base commanders and others have been bullied into agreeing to nearby wind farms. And they argue the U.S. Department of Defense could easily choose to relocate military bases to other states if wind farms became an imposition.

“If you want to decimate a state, you pull out the military,” said Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne), the House majority leader and cosponsor of a bill to place a moratorium on new wind farms until 2020.

Szoka doesn’t see wind farms and military as incompatible. He visited the Navy radar site said to be threatened by the Amazon wind farm. “I’m thoroughly convinced that it’s just fine,” he said.

But his bill tries to address his colleagues’ concerns by involving the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs from the beginning, and requiring any new wind farm to receive a letter of approval from the department’s secretary.

That additional power is no small concession for wind power developers, who have long maintained that the current system for military approval works well, and involves local base commanders up front.

“There have been precisely zero projects that were built over the objection of military personnel,” said Dave Belote, a former military official who now consults with wind developer Apex Energy.

Belote created the federal process by which the military approves wind power projects. “As a former base commander, I ensured that the base commander has the ultimate say,” he said.

Charlottesville, Virginia-based Apex has approval from Chowan County for its 105-turbine Timbermill Wind project, and is appealing a denial from Perquimans County. It will apply for state approval once the county process runs its course.

The company, whose project would be just eight miles from the Amazon Wind farm and could become the state’s largest, has so far remained mum on House Bill 574.

But backers of the bill, which must clear a second committee and the full House by April 27 to meet a key legislative deadline, say it should satisfy concerns from both wind proponents and critics.

“Politics are the art of compromise. We were trying to find a happy medium here,” said Szoka. “My job isn’t to protect any particular industry, it’s to look out for the betterment of the state overall. I think that this bill does that.”


Elizabeth Ouzts, a former director of communications for Environment America, is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina.


http://southeastenergynews.com/2017/04/18/a-divide-emerges-among-north-carolina-republicans-on-wind-energy/
Yeah, we hunt and eat birds. So what!? More birds are killed from hitting glass windows on BUILDINGS than from our natural predatory habits. And furthermore, gas and coal power plants kill a LOT MORE birds than wind turbines ever will. So there! PFFFFT!
Just wait till that fossil fueler tries to pet me after blaming me, my pals and wind turbines for all those dead birds his polluting power plants, cars and stupid buildings kill.
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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #171 on: April 19, 2017, 04:45:22 pm »
Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands Want to Build an Island Hub to Support 100GW of Offshore Wind 
 

The island could also become a crucial provider of renewable-power-to-gas for Europe.

by Jason Deign 
 March 22, 2017

SNIPPET:

A group of European countries is looking to build a giant island in the North Sea in order to support up to 100 gigawatts of offshore wind projects.

If built, the island would be sited on the Dogger Bank, a large North Sea sandbank where the water depth ranges from 15 to 36 meters.

It is intended to act as a staging post for turbine operations and maintenance crews, as well as to provide a central connection for planned far-shore wind farms and host direct current lines acting as interconnectors between Denmark, Germany, Holland, Norway and the U.K.

“The cooperation will spend the coming years investigating feasibility and develop a model before deciding whether to go forward,” said Jesper Nřrskov Rasmussen, press officer at Energinet.dk, the Danish transmission system operator (TSO).

The island might feature power-to-gas as a storage technique to utilize high volumes of wind generation, said Rasmussen. The North Sea is home to a sophisticated network of gas pipelines, which could help bring wind-generated gas to countries around Europe.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/This-island-hub-could-support-100-gigawatts-of-offshore-wind
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #172 on: April 27, 2017, 06:32:10 pm »
Denmark to End All Renewable Energy Subsidies  

April 27, 2017

By Peter Levring, Bloomberg    renewable energy

After more than four decades of relying on subsidies, Denmark’s renewable energy industry is ready to survive on its own much sooner than anyone expected.

The Danish energy minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, says that “in just a few years,” renewable energy providers won’t need state support anymore. He says it’s a development he couldn’t have imagined as recently as last year.

“We’re now very close to arriving,” he said in an interview in Copenhagen on Monday, after receiving a set of recommendations from a government-appointed panel on Denmark’s energy future.

The development marks a milestone. But it also comes at a time when the direction of global energy policies is in doubt, with U.S. President Donald Trump questioning the science behind global warming. He’s promised to revive America’s coal industry, and made clear he’s an enemy of wind power.

Lilleholt says the experience in Denmark — home to Vestas Wind Systems A/S (the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker) and Dong Energy A/S (the world’s biggest offshore wind park operator) — demonstrates that coal is no longer cheaper to produce than renewable energy.

What’s more, the development is set to become more pronounced, Lilleholt says. “Everything suggests that technology will help make renewable energy more and more competitive,” he said. And as green energy becomes more efficient, the minister warns that “already today, it’s impossible to build a new coal power plant without support.”
 
Denmark is on target to have all its energy needs covered by renewables by 2050, with half that goal set to be achieved in 2030, the panel said. Much of the new capacity will be built without subsidies, according to the panel. It recommended all energy consumption, including heating and transportation, be shifted to electricity generated by renewable energy.

Industry members are also surprised at the pace of the shift. Niels B. Christiansen, the outgoing chief executive officer of Danfoss A/S (an engineering firm that provides heaters and coolers) says he expects the cost of producing renewable energy to drop below market electricity prices at some point between 2020 and 2030.

Quote
“A year ago, it was debatable whether renewable energy costs could drop so low,” he said in an interview. “But everyone’s now thinking that it will probably happen sooner.”

©2017 Bloomberg News

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/04/denmark-to-end-all-renewable-energy-subsidies.html

Agelbert NOTE: The Renewable Energy Tiger is UNSTOPPABLE!  
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #173 on: May 03, 2017, 10:01:41 pm »
Iowa's Largest Utility Eyes 100% Renewable Energy Goal

By Lorraine Chow

02 May
 
Iowa is already a wind energy superstar, and now, the state's largest utility is looking to completely transition to renewable energy sources.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy, owned by Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, recently invested $3.6 billion for its 2,000 megawatt Wind XI project, that's hailed as "the largest economic development project in Iowa's history" as well as the nation's largest wind energy project.

The Des Moines Register reports that MidAmerican will install 1,000 wind turbines over the next few years on top of the 2,020 turbines the company has already built around the state.

The feat would bring the utility's share of energy from renewable sources from 55 percent to 89 percent.

"We will be able to virtually serve 89 percent of our customers' needs with an energy resource that requires no fuel," MidAmerican CEO Bill Fehrman told the publication.

The initiative would involve no rate increases for customers—MidAmerican has agreed to freeze rates until at least 2029, and "a lot of that is because of the wind investment," Fehrman said.

Quote
"The beauty of wind is there's no fuel costs,"  he said. 

MidAmerican's rates have increased only once since 1998 and are the ninth-lowest nationally, Fehrman said. "There's not another utility in the country—gas, water, cable, electric—that's held rates steady for 12, 13 years."

According to Fehrman, the company's goal is to eventually reach 100 percent renewables, which would require at least another $2 billion and 550 turbines.

"It would set a new precedent for the U.S.," Daniel Shurey, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, told the Register. "It will require a company that really knows what it's doing."


"It will be challenging for them to provide security of supply, and that's not something MidAmerican will take lightly," Shurey said.

The Wind XI project, which the Iowa Utilities Board approved in August, is expected to power 800,000 homes once completed by the end of 2019.

Iowa, one of the top U.S. states in wind power generation, already runs on more than one-third wind energy.

http://www.ecowatch.com/iowa-midamerican-energy-wind-2387877147.html
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #174 on: May 05, 2017, 01:10:42 pm »
A New York Times article dated Nov. 22, 1936, quotes from a lecture titled “Discoveries and Inventions” Lincoln gave in 1860, before he became president. Here’s the relevant part:


“Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power … Take any given space of the earth’s surface, for instance, Illinois, and all the power exerted by all the men, beasts, running water and steam over and upon it shall not equal the 100th part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same place.

And yet it has not, so far in the world’s history, become properly valued as motive power. It is applied extensively and advantageously to sail vessels in navigation. Add to this a few windmills and pumps and you have about all. As yet the wind is an untamed, unharnessed force, and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made will be the taming and harnessing of it.”
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #175 on: May 07, 2017, 01:35:44 pm »


Drone Service Provider Secures First License Agreement for Wind Turbine Blade Inspection in Brazil 
   
May 5, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors 

Portugal-based Pro-Drone, S.A., a provider of automated drones for wind turbine blade surveys, recently signed its first licensing agreement with Brazilian wind energy company Arth-Wind to provide inspections of wind blades to the Brazilian market.

“Seeing the Pro-Drone system working at location, blew away all our expectations on the search for a technology that would bring speed, safety and confidence on the information retrieved during a survey of a wind turbine’s blades,” Armando Costa Rego, founder of Arth-Wind, said in a statement.

Pro-Drone said it will provide the required payload and control systems, customized web platform, training and assistance, while Arth-Wind will address the customized reporting commercial development and field surveys to Brazilian customers.

André Moura, founder of Pro-Drone, said that “the Brazilian wind turbine market can now enjoy a fast, reliable and cost-effective process to survey the wind turbine’s blades  ;D, and with the expertise of the Arth-Wind team those surveys will result in better inspection reports, leading to increases in productivity and lower operating costs of wind turbines.”

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/drone-service-provider-secures-first-license-agreement-for-wind-turbine-blade-inspection-in-brazil.html
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #176 on: May 07, 2017, 06:44:57 pm »
Wind Industry Just Chalked Up Strongest First Quarter in 8 Years  

America's wind power workforce installed 908 utility-scale turbines in the first quarter of 2017, totaling 2,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This is the wind industry's strongest start in eight years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

"We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, in releasing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report. "Each new modern wind turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so the turbines we installed in just these three months represent nearly 40,000 job years for American workers."

The early burst of activity reflects how 500 factories in America's wind power supply chain and more than 100,000 wind workers are putting stable, multi-year federal policy to work. The industry is now in year three of a five-year phase-down of the Production Tax Credit, and Navigant Consulting recently forecast a strong 2017 for wind power, similar to 2015 and 2016.

New wind turbine installations in the first quarter spanned the U.S. from Rhode Island and North Carolina to Oregon and Hawaii. Great Plains states Texas (724 MW) and Kansas (481 MW) led the pack.

Texas continues as the overall national leader for wind power capacity, with 21,000 MW installed, enough to power more than five million average homes. North Carolina became the 41st state to harness wind power, bringing online the first wind farm to be built in the Southeast in 12 years.

Horace Pritchard, one of nearly 60 landowners associated with the North Carolina project, explained what it means to him and his neighbors: "Farms have been growing corn, soybeans and wheat for a long time here, and the wind farm revenue means a lot of families are protected from pricing swings, floods or droughts going forward. We're just adding another locally-grown crop to our fields, with very little ground taken out of production, and the improved roads really help with access. So it's a great fit here."

Expanding wind farms continue to benefit rural America, since more than 99 percent of wind farms are built in rural communities. According to AWEA's recently released 2016 Annual Market Report, wind now pays more than $245 million per year in land-lease payments to local landowners, many of them farmers and ranchers.

Along with rural benefits, American wind manufacturing facilities remain busy in the first quarter as projects continue to be built. With 4,466 MW in new construction and advanced development announcements recorded in the first quarter, the near-term pipeline has reached 20,977 MW of wind capacity. That's about as much as the entire Texas wind fleet's existing capacity.

Demand remained strong in the first quarter. There were 1,781 MW signed in long-term contracts for wind energy, the most in a first quarter since 2013. Utilities and Fortune 500 brands frequently use these long-term contracts, called Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), to purchase wind energy. Home Depot and Intuit, maker of TurboTax, both signed up for wind power this quarter, joining a host of Fortune 500 companies like GM, Walmart, and Microsoft that are buying wind energy for its low, stable cost.

In addition to leading brands, low-cost wind power reliably supplies a growing number of cities, universities, and other organizations—including the Department of Defense. This quarter, a Texas wind farm came online to supply a PPA with the U.S. Army. Powering a military facility demonstrates that wind power is ready to reliably serve our most vital electricity needs, boosting American energy security in more ways than one.

http://www.ecowatch.com/wind-installations-awea-2392335409.html
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #177 on: May 08, 2017, 05:36:07 pm »



REPORT: Part 1: Limits to Scale in Wind

May 8th, 2017 by John Farrell  

Full report available at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:  https://ilsr.org

SNIPPET 1:

For nearly a century, it’s been considered conventional wisdom that larger-scale power generation means lower-cost electricity. This wisdom is built on two basic theories of economies of scale.

Below is part one of our Is Bigger Best Report, a report released in September 2016. Conventional wisdom suggests the biggest wind and solar power plants will be cheapest, but where they deliver power, and who will own them, matters more. Be sure to read parts two and three in the next week.

First, there’s the simple fact that larger volume components of power plants provide more usable space than the related materials costs. This simple illustration explains. The box on the left has a volume of 1x1x1 = 1 cubic foot. To assemble the box, you need 6 square pieces of material, each with an area of 1, for a total of 6 square feet. The box on the right has a volume of 2x2x2 = 8 cubic feet. The larger box can be assembled of 6 square pieces, each with an area of 2×2 = 4 square feet, for a total of 24 square feet. We’ve increased the volume of our container 8-fold, with only a 4-fold increase in material costs.

As power plants became bigger in the first half of the 20th century, they captured this economy of scale in materials.

The second basic theory is that the average cost of a product decreases the more you make of it. This takes into account the scale economies in material costs (in building the factories), but also the notion that some overhead costs (such as annual registration fees, insurance, etc) are fixed or grow more slowly than the total output of a business.

Both of these theories were well supported by data in the early years of electricity generation in the 1900s, with coal, oil, and then nuclear power plants producing lower cost power from larger sized plants. The advantage to size also lent credence to the conventional wisdom of monopoly utilities. Big power plants required large amounts of capital, and capital markets offered lower interest rates to companies that did not have the risk of competition for their ever­-larger power plants.

But after decades of success, the “bigger-is­-better” mantra stopped generating returns on investment, nearly 50 years ago. In super­-large fossil fuel power plants, specialized equipment required excessively high temperatures and special materials that were more expensive than the marginal gains in efficiency. This graphic, from a book called Power Loss, illustrates the plateauing of power plant efficiency in the mid­-1960s, as challenges in operating giant power plants offset their economies of scale.

The plateau in plant efficiency from technical challenges was accompanied by a leveling off in the cost reductions of building bigger. Bigger power plants, evidence suggested, incurred higher indirect costs, such as much longer construction time. In the 1970s in particular, high inflation and other factors made up as much as 60% of a power plant’s cost, and made delay costly.

Despite the evidence about limits to scale economies, the conventional wisdom that bigger is better has persisted into the renewable energy power industry. It’s particularly ironic, since the costly ever­-bigger power plants of the 1970s led Congress to pass the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), the federal law that opened the door to renewable energy alternatives to conventional power plants. This lesson seems lost on many observers of the renewable energy industry.

Renewable Energy Economies of Scale

The economies of scale of renewable energy take three forms, slightly different than those for fossil fuels:

1.The first is similar, that larger solar or wind power plants will produce less costly power than smaller ones, given a similar level of sunshine or wind.

2.The second suggests that renewable electricity is best produced in areas of the highest resource quality, and then transmitted long-distance to users.

3.The third is an assertion that the road to the most renewable energy the most quickly is via the largest power plants.

Full article with several eye opening charts and explanatory graphics:  

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/08/bigger-best-report-part-1-limits-scale-wind/


John Farrell is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and widely known as the guru of distributed energy.

John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

He’s the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times,  showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs.  He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.


https://ilsr.org/about-the-institute-for-local-self-reliance/staff-and-board/john-farrell/

Agelbert NOTE: John makes a valid case for SMALL Renewable Energy projects by showing the increased transmission cost limitations of large Renewable Energy projects. That is, when you are harvesting a huge amount of energy, it has to be sent hither and yon to reach everybody that wants it. Yes, the transmission costs increase with distance. However, that is because the infrastructure for moving massive amounts of energy over high voltage transmission corridors specifically designed to do just that has not been built up yet. They haven't built that greased lightning grid simply because the fossil fuel industry did not need it with their polluting pigs scattered all over the country (the same with nuclear power pigs too!).

But really, even with the present increased costs of sending energy over wires at greater distances, there is NO WAY sending energy in liquid form on gasoline tankers or coal trains is anywhere near as efficient AND cheap as sending energy through wires.

Consequently, both small and large Renewable Energy projects will continue to outcompete polluting fossil fuels and nuclear power even before our advanced national high voltage transmission grid infrastructure is built.

The polluters no longer have absolutely any reason for claiming they have a "competitive" energy product. The only way polluters can "compete" now is by getting Trump to declare the Orwellian Mindfork that "Renewable Energy threatens National polluter profit Security" and making it "illegal" for the grid AND the transportation sector to have more than 50% (or whatever percentage the polluters need to limit clean energy growth) Renewable Energy Penetration.

We need polluters like a dog needs to be covered with ticks slowly killing it. Either we get rid of polluters or perish from pollution.

Quote
Jens Stubbe  • 6 hours ago   

The graph over the catastrophic low efficiency in the thermal power plant is really scary. In Denmark the average external efficiency is 45% electric and nearly 40% thermal and the flue gases are cleansed and used or asphalt and cement and a good proportion of the CO2 is used for gypsum production. Even so we out phase coal and will be done by 2023.

As for the size limitations for wind power there is a square cube rule that defines that every time you double capacity you square cube the weight. So far clever engineering has defied this rule. A 9MW nacelle is very close in weight to a 2,3MW nacelle.

The roadmap for continued weight drop looks really good and we could potentially see several times bigger turbines that weigh less than several times smaller simply due to ingenuity.

Currently 17% of the global coal fiber production is consumed by the wind power industry but this is expected to increase to 65% by 2020.

Wind power is already the largest purchaser of several raw materials and is the driving force behind technology development that benefit aerospace, aviation, formula 1, automotive and so on. So apart from being an important contributor to a sustainable future wind power is also cross fertilizing advances in other fields of engineering.

The next big threshold for RE in general and wind power in particular is the P2G cost point. For solar the threshold will demand about 50% cost decrease and for offshore wind about 66%.

Once those thresholds have been met the size of wind power plants and solar power plants will suddenly go up to a level never seen before. Innogy sees Methanol as the energy carrier of the future whereas other sees a plethora of alternative synthetic carriers.

In the North Sea the offshore wind potential is sufficient to power the European continent including electrifying the entire transport sector.

Both MHI Vestas and Siemens Wind power are far advanced with the next generation larger turbines. Siemens Wind power have the capacity to build a 8MW turbine every day and MHI Vestas is catching up rapidly.

At sea the most important gains with scale is the reduced service and maintenance as well as lower cost of installation.

As for the ownership structure we are heading straight towards ever bigger project that leaves no room for smaller projects. Part of this trend is a deliberate strategy where subsidies was only available for large consortia. On the positive side Shell, Statoil and several large utilities are now active in the business.

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #178 on: May 17, 2017, 02:23:26 pm »
Scottish Offshore Wind May Get $13BN Lift From Bird Ruling 

May 17, 2017

By Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg 
 
Scottish judges paved the way for as much as 10 billion pounds (US$13 billion) to be invested in offshore wind power by overturning a ruling that said projects may kill too many birds.

Planning permission should move forward at four wind farms being developed by SSE Plc, Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd., Fluor Corp. and SDIC Power Holdings Co., according to the ruling by three judges at the Inner House at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

They said a judge in the Outer Court was wrong to revoke consent in July for the wind farms, that may create as much as 2.3 GW of new capacity off Scotland’s east coast. The earlier ruling asserted that Scottish ministers didn’t properly assess how the projects would threaten migratory seabirds, such as the puffin.

The earlier decision “strayed well beyond the limits of testing the legality of the process,” according to the ruling." “Matters of scientific fact and methodology which, whatever the judge’s own particular skills may be, are not within the proper province of a court of review.”

Scotland’s government welcomed the decision by saying it “remains strongly committed to the development of offshore wind energy,”    according to an email from Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse. Offshore wind “has a key role to play in our fight against the threat posed by climate change to both our society and our natural environment,” he said.

Mainstream said it would now seek to develop the 2 billion pound Neart Na Goithe offshore wind farm as quickly as possible, according to a separate statement. The project has a contract with the U.K. government for a subsidy of 114 pounds/MWh.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which brought the original case against the wind farms, said the projects could be among the deadliest wind farms for birds anywhere in the world.

“RSPB Scotland is, of course, hugely disappointed by today’s Inner House judgment,” said Stuart Housden, director RSPB Scotland, in an email. “Combined, these four huge projects threaten to kill thousands of Scotland’s internationally protected seabirds every year, including thousands of puffins, gannets and kittiwakes.”

The decision will boost investor confidence in the U.K.’s emerging offshore wind industry, as the country hosts its latest subsidy auction, said Tom Harries, Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst. “Developing an offshore wind site in the U.K. is risky and costly enough already, without the added threat of retroactively losing an environmental permit.”

Edward Black, a spokesman for SSE, said the company was “delighted” with the outcome of the appeal and will now consider the best options for the two Seagreen wind farms affected.

©2017 Bloomber News

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/05/scottish-offshore-wind-may-get-13bn-lift-from-bird-ruling.html
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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #179 on: May 24, 2017, 01:29:42 pm »


First quarter highlights: We’re about to build a Texas-sized amount of wind power

Greg Alvarez 
May 23, 2017 This column originally appeared in the WINDPOWER show daily.


American wind power is in the midst of a Texas-sized boom to start 2017. The industry just posted its best first quarter in eight years, and put up a new turbine every two hours and 24 minutes over the year’s first three months.


So what top trends are emerging?


Strongest first quarter since 2009

During the year’s first three months, 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new capacity came online, more than the first three quarters of 2016 combined. The U.S. now has enough installed wind capacity to power 25 million American homes.

U.S. workers built 908 turbines during the first quarter, and that means a lot of business. Each turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so American wind power just supported nearly 40,000 years of full-time employment.

We’re about to build a Texas-sized amount of new wind power

Nearly 21,000 MW of new wind capacity is currently under construction or in advanced development, about the same amount online in Texas today.

As the country’s wind leader, Texas already has enough installed wind capacity to power over five million American homes, and wind jobs in the state top 22,000.

So the amount of new wind in the pipeline is a big deal.   


North Carolina joins the party

North Carolina became the 41st state with a utility-scale wind project when Avangrid Renewables’ Amazon Wind Farm US East started generating electricity earlier this year. The project was the first built in the Southeast in 12 years, and offers clear evidence that improved turbine technology can help bring low-cost wind energy to more parts of the U.S.

Texas stays at the head of the pack

Although wind power grew from coast-to-coast during the first quarter, Texas kept its tight grip on the leader spot with 724 MW coming online.

The corporate buyer trend continued facing front and center in the Lone Star State too, with Home Depot buying enough output from a Texas wind farm to power 100 stores. Other deals included names like 7/11, T-Mobile and Facebook.

Kansas finished behind only Texas in new wind installations during the quarter. Nearly 500 MW of new in-state capacity came online, and the state will soon top 5,000 MW.

Grid operators continue to reliably integrate more wind power
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), grid operator for 14 states across the Midwest, set a new high water mark by surpassing 50 percent wind penetration.  :o

SPP’s new record offers further proof that wind power helps keep the lights on for America’s families and businesses.

Growth is expected to remain strong in the months and years ahead— according to the U.S. Department of Energy 10 percent of U.S. electricity could come from wind by 2020.

http://www.aweablog.org/first-quarter-highlights-build-texas-sized-amount-wind-power/

Agelbert NOTE: More wind power means LESS USE of WATER! This means more resilience for communities when drought conditions are present. Water needs to be available for people, animals and plants instead of being squandered by thermal power plants.

This is just one more reason (among MANY reasons) why fossil fuel powered thermal power plants are TOO ENVIRONMENTALLY & MONETARILY COSTLY for ANY of the above mentioned states.

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