Germany plans nuclear energy exit, guns for wind power

August 30, 2011

The country’s cabinet recently approved a series of laws to make possible an exit from atomic energy by the end of 2022, including measures for a massive increase of onshore and offshore wind power, the accelerated expansion of the electricity grid, and more gas-fired generation capacity. Despite being behind schedule on plans for wind parks off Germany’s North and Baltic Seacoasts, the government is sticking to an ambitious offshore wind energy target.

“We want to expand wind power at sea in the next 20 years, to a capacity of 25 GW,” Transport and Construction Minister Peter Ramsauer said. “That is equivalent to the generating capacity of 18-20 nuclear power stations.” The cabinet agreed a gradual phase-out from nuclear power, with one of its 17 nuclear power stations each being switched off in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and three each in 2021 and 2022, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said.

In yet another development, the country’s recently introduced energy legislation would benefit offshore wind farms over land-based ones under a government proposal aimed at limiting the cost of new sources of renewable energy as it scraps its nuclear power plants.

Offshore wind park owners will see their guaranteed above market rates decrease starting in 2018, three years later than the government had planned, the Environment Ministry said in a draft law published on its website. Onshore turbine operators will see an annual reduction of 1 per cent in feed-in tariffs from 2012.

Italy’s largest wind project begins operations

August 30, 2011

Italian renewable energy group Falck Renewables has begun commercial operation of the first group of turbines at its 138 MW Buddosò and Alà dei Sardi wind farm inSardinia.

Falck Renewables said the wind farm will rank as Italy’s largest wind power plant when fully operational later this year and should produce 330 GWh of electricity annually. It will comprise 69. 2 MW turbines from German manufacturer Enercon

The project, which last year received a €230 million project financing loan, is expected to generate annual revenues of €50 million. Falck now has about 526 MW of installed RE capacity, primarily in wind energy, and is aiming at 1.1 GW by end-2014.

1-GW wind-solar project underway in Iran

August 30, 2011

The Iranian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with an unnamed Danish company to build the country’s first privately-owned wind and solar power plant. The plant will be built near Damghan, in Semnan province, to the east of Tehran, as part of a project totaling up to 1 GW to be built in ten phases of around 100 MW each.

Construction of the first phase is expected to start “in the near future” and the financing will come from a German investor. UnderIran’s Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2010-15) the country aims to add 5 GW of wind and solar capacity by 2016, with wind accounting for 90 per cent of this figure.

To date,Iran has 92 MW of installed capacity, while the potential resource could exceed 15 GW, according to the energy ministry. According to industry sources, private investors have submitted applications for wind power projects  with a total capacity of 800 MW.

Turkey’s wind energy potential estimated to exceed 83,000 MW

August 30, 2011

Turkey’s wind energy potential is around 83,000 MW – the largest in European OECD countries. According to industry sources, the wind power sector in Turkey is developing fast and licenses to numerous wind farm projects have already been issued.

Going by market research company RNCOS’ latest research offering “Turkey Wind Sector Analysis”, wind power sector in the country has received tremendous response from the government initiatives and private sector entities. The government’s strong desire to lessen the energy import dependency along with abundant wind power potentials has intensified the development in the sector during the last few years. The research further revealed that, wind power will continue to be the most preferred investment destination among the renewable energy sources inTurkeyand with new incentives and tariffs coming into effect, the installations will grow above 30 per cent CAGR during 2011-2014.

Massive Growth in China’s Offshore Wind Power planned by 2020

August 30, 2011

According to China’s National Energy Administration, the country will increase its offshore wind farm installed capacity to 5 GW in the next five years and create a complete technology and industrial chain to service the growing wind turbine sector.

A renewable energy strategy in the nation’s 12th Five-Year Plan indicates China’s offshore sector is about to enter “a phase of large-scale development” and is estimated to reach 30 GW in 2020. Although China overtook the US last year as the nation with the most installed wind farm capacity, reaching 43 GW in total, almost all of that was generated from its onshore sector.

The National Energy Bureau (NEB) will launch preparation work for the second public bidding on offshore wind power concession projects in the second half year of 2011 and is scheduled to complete the bidding in the first half year of 2012. The total construction scale will be between 1.5 GW and 2 GW. China’s first offshore project, the East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, having a capacity of 102 MW, started operating in June 2010. It comprises 34 units of 3-MW Sinovel turbines.

China tops world’s RE investment: Study

August 30, 2011

China is now the world leader in renewable energy investment, as developing countries overtook developed ones for the first time in the value of major “green” projects in 2010, according to a report released in Frankfurt. Renewable energy industry saw a great boom last year, with a record $211 billion worldwide flowing into the sector, surging about 30 per cent year-on-year, said the report titled “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011.”

The report was based on a study jointly conducted by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the news service Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In 2010, a total of $48.9 billion were directed into green energy and technology research, particularly for wind farms, inChina. The report said wind energy projects are attracting the largest investment worldwide, with the volume jumping 30 per cent to $94.7 billion last year. Solar energy bagged $86 billion, while energy production from biomass and waste took the third place with $11-billion investments.

Renewable Energy Law and Wind Auction Announced in Panama

August 30, 2011

The National Assembly of Panama recently approved two renewable energy incentive laws. The incentive laws include import-tax and other tax exemptions on equipment, as well as a credit equal to 5 per cent of the value of civil works that are considered to be for public use. In a different development, the government announced the start of a process that will award 150 MW of wind energy contracts. This move could open the door for wind turbine installations in Panama. According to the economy minister, Mr Alberto Vallarino, the 150 MW of wind projects could be expanded depending on the capabilities of the participants.

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